Service Dogs Need Our Support

 |  Sep 20th 2008  |   2 Contributions

Times have been a bit tough lately, people are cutting back on their spending. When this happens, usually the hardest hit groups are not-for-profits which run solely on contributions.

Take for instance Power Paw's Assistance Dogs, they rely on donations and fundraisers to keep them going.

The group has 45 dogs in training. Each year, it matches 10 golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers with children and adults with disabilities.

"We are publicly supported, and we are holding our breath as to what's coming," Abels said.

Or look at Paws With A Cause, the group that trained Buddy, the dog who called 911 after his owner had a seizure.

About 80 percent of funding for Paws with a Cause is provided through workforce-donation campaigns, Davis said.

As employers slash jobs, though, fewer people are able to donate.

The dogs pick up dropped items, push elevator buttons, pay cashiers or even pull off pairs of socks.

"So many times people with disabilities don't go out in public because it's not accessible to them," Abels said. "With a dog with them, they are able to become active members of the community."

It's so easy for those of us without disabilities to take these daily tasks for granted, something we don't give an afterthought. We don't think about what it would be like if we couldn't pick something up because we dropped it, or what would happen if a fire started and we couldn't hear the alarm.

These dogs not only give persons with disabilities a level of independence they could not achieve on their own, they also react in life-threatening situations. What would have happened to Buddy's owner if he wasn't around? Scary thought.

If the picture above doesn't make you scrape together a few dollars to donate, I haven't done my job very well. Come on Dogsters, let's help support the service dogs that support us.


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