When you think of a service dog, you probably think of the service dogs that assist people who are blind. This is only one example of how service dogs can help people who have special needs. 4 Paws for Ability places trained service dogs with people of all ages who have a disability. Unlike many other organizations that provide service dogs, 4 Paws for Ability will place their service dogs with children.
Service dogs are starting to be used to assist people who have many different types of disabilities. You may have heard of seeing eye dogs, but there are also hearing ear dogs. Service dogs have been trained to assist children who have autism. There are dogs who are trained to help people with mobility issues.
Some service dogs are trained to be able to detect signs that a person is about to have a seizure, before any signs that humans can detect are apparent. 4 Paws for Ability can even train a service dog to be able to assist children who have several different special needs at the same time. These are called Multipurpose Assistance Dogs.
The people at 4 Paws for Ability believe that service dogs should be available for anyone who has a disability. They understand that other agencies that provide service dogs may turn someone down because the agency feels that the person isn’t disabled enough, or that the person has too many disabilities, or disabilities that are too severe. Many other agencies won’t place service dogs with children, but 4 Paws for Ability will. Another great things about this agency is that their dogs are trained to tolerate the other pets that are in a person’s home. Getting a service dog doesn’t have to mean that you must give up your other pets.
You can find a lot of details about how to go about getting your child who has special needs a service dog from 4 Paws For Ability. There is detailed information about the process that is involved. The service dogs are not free, but they will allow you to do some fundraising in order to pay for the training and the dog itself. In general, it seems as though they like for recipients to fundraise at least half of the necessary costs. You can find a lot of information about the facility that the dogs are trained at.
I’ve been reading over some of the personal stories on their website, and find them fascinating! It’s amazing what a properly trained service animal can do to enhance the quality of life for a child who has a disability or a special need. 4 Paws for Ability is located in Ohio, but they provide service dogs for those who need them worldwide.
Image by Pete Markham on Flickr