September is National Service Dog Month, a time devoted to raising awareness and showing appreciation for the extraordinary work service dogs do every day for the people in their care. Join us in celebrating and honoring these special heroes who dedicate their lives to help their human companions.
Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. They can be trained to retrieve objects, assist with balance, give seizure or diabetic alerts, or assist those with psychiatric disabilities. They also serve our nation’s wounded warriors suffering from conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. Service dogs provide companionship while inspiring confidence and they live to serve and assist their handlers. With the help of a service dog, humans can better manage disabilities and live fuller lives.
These special pups exemplify the amazing healing power of the human-animal bond. We all know dogs are a wo/man’s best friend – they are loyal, devoted, loving, dependable and typically cuddly. However, research shows living with a canine companion can also provide physical benefits varying from improved cardiovascular health and increased physical activity to lower cholesterol and decreased blood pressure. They also can give support and a sense of calm for our daily emotional and psychological stresses.
American Humane is committed to harnessing the healing powers of the human-animal bond to assist veterans through its Pups4Patriots™ program. However, there are obstacles standing in the way of veterans in need of service dogs: Waiting lists are long and the process is expensive, with intensive training costing upwards of $30,000 per service dog. But American Humane is here to help, training lifesaving service dogs, free of cost for veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.
This month and every month, we recognize the heroic work of service dogs across the world. Meet just a few of our current service dogs-in-training below!