September is National Service Dog Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and showing appreciation for the extraordinary work service animals do every day for the people in their care. National Service Dog Month honors these working dogs for making millions of lives better and safer.
As partners and companions to our human species, dogs understand us and can read our emotions. They have intrinsic therapeutic capabilities. Even an untrained dog can be an emotional anchor for a person with anxiety or depression, but a trained service dog can bring specific techniques to bear.
Help us celebrate and spread the word about service dogs and all the amazing things they do for us during National Service Dog Month in September!
Service Dogs: Working Canines Who Deserve Our Thanks
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Service dogs help those with debilitating medical conditions, from autism to blindness, seizure disorders and hearing impairments, diabetes and those who need physical assistance, and they also serve our wounded warriors suffering from conditions like PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and mobility issues.
Service dogs provide companionship while inspiring confidence, and they live to serve, protect, and assist their handlers. They help their humans perform tasks, overcome disabilities, and live fuller lives.
All of these animals dedicate and often risk their lives to help their humans.
Where Did National Service Dog Month Start?
Originally called National Guide Dog Month, National Service Dog Month was established in 2008 by actor and animal advocate Dick Van Patten.
After a visit to Guide Dogs of the Desert in Palm Springs, Van Patten was so inspired that he launched a fundraising drive to benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country.
What began as a single fundraiser evolved into an annual celebration of the extraordinary work that service dogs do.
Where Do Service Dogs Come From?
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Many service dog organizations have a twofold objective: to provide a trained companion animal for people in need and to save an animal’s life by using rescue animals for this work. With thousands of dogs dying in shelters every year, simply because they are homeless, it’s a perfect partnership.
Dozens of organizations look to shelters for rescue animals who can have another chance at life as service companions.
Animal Farm Foundation is one these groups. They’ve established a service dog training program so rescued Pit Bulls can train for work traditionally reserved for other breeds.
Dozens of other organizations are training service dogs to meet specific needs:
- Canines Companions for Independence
- Canines for Disabled Kids
- Guide Dogs of America
- Patriot Paws
- Best Friends Animal Society
Service dogs are therapeutic and train to help their owners manage a variety of physical and emotional disabilities. They have a legal right to go everywhere in support of their person. They deserve a month for us to celebrate their work and honor these loyal companions who make life better for so many of us. Will you help us celebrate National Service Dog Month in September? Have you ever relied on a service dog for assistance? Let us know in the comments below!
(Picture Credit: David Osberg/Getty Images)