Shelter to Service Dog

Here’s a great comeback story nearing the completion of its first chapter.

I assisted a client with a medical disability in the selection of a shelter dog with the intent for it to be an emotional support animal. I underestimated Hank and his new owner by a country mile. The moment I saw Hank I sensed he was special. He was a two time loser, having been surrendered by his original owner for unknown reasons, then adopted and returned again for “destruction of property”.

All I saw in that initial temperament evaluation was raw potential…but I had no idea of the depth of that potential Hank actually had. He was destined to become much more than an emotional support animal.

This week Hank reached and far surpassed all the requirements for compliance with designation as a service dog as defined by federal law under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I’m not at liberty to divulge the specific medical assistance jobs Hank is trained to do for his owner/handler, but I will tell you that Hank’s life and the life of his owner have been exponentially improved because of it.

Here’s a snapshot of Hank hitting the three minute mark of an extended down-stay off leash, outdoors, with distractions present.

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