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  Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Support Dogs, Service Dogs, Companion Dogs...

This page will provide you with just about everything and anything you'd need to know if you are interested in a Service Dog for yourself or someone you know that has a disability, that by having a service/companion, or other trained dog, would change yours or their lives for the better. This page went on line mid-February 2007 and will up-dated weekly. Go for it! I myself have a service dog in training 04.01.07 -Gary

Hero Assistance Dogs, Inc. Mission Statement: is dedicated to train and place quality assistance dogs utilizing volunteers of all ages, including at-risk teens, to provide an improved quality of life and independence to disabled Florida residents. A lifetime follow-up support program for recipients assures a high quality of service and satisfaction. Hero Assistance Dogs, Inc. is committed to educating the public and raise awareness regarding the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities.

In Florida

Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Support Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs

Service Dogs

Author: Cindy Moore,
Copyright 1995-1996

This is a complete information source and directory.

Service dog

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A service dog is a type of assistance dog, specifically trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Examples of these include psychiatric service dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and seizure response dogs. Service dogs are sometimes trained and bred by private organizations. In other cases, the disabled handler may train their dog themselves with or without the aid of a private trainer. While most regional laws do not require any special labeling of these dogs, many service dogs can be identified by the cape, jacket, or harness they wear.


Welcome to Canine Companions for Independence!


Canine Companions for Independence is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of children and adults with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

How do we do it? Through the generous support of our donors and volunteers. People just like you!

Find out how you can help us provide "exceptional dogs for exceptional people®"

Canine program rewards Onawa Iowa student
By Tim Gallagher Sioux City Journal staff writer

ONAWA, Iowa n Tera Jurrens finished first semester tests at West Monona High School Thursday, then prepped classmate Rosa for her final exam.

Jurrens is a senior getting reading for college. Rosa is a lab-retriever mix preparing for a life of helping the disabled through Canine Companions for Independence. Jurrens became involved with the program shortly after a 4-H camp four years ago.

“I was at a 4-H camp in Madrid, Iowa, and a girl in the camp had a physical disability,” said Jurrens, the daughter of Jan and Jeanette Jurrens of Onawa. The girl wasn’t blind, but she had a canine companion who assisted her with everyday activities.

Jurrens, whose mother is a dog-groomer, had been around dogs her entire life. The arrangement interested her, so she came home and did some research to learn about the program based in Ohio and California. There is no compensation for a trainer. The entire setup is run by volunteers.

“I knew it would be a fun program to get into,” she says. “I wanted to train a dog to help someone.”

Rosa is her third canine. Her previous “students” were Hobie and Herschel, dogs now helping disabled persons.

“Hobie is with a paraplegic in Ohio. Hobie is home-certified and helps do things like open the refrigerator and turn on lights for his master, who lives alone,” she says.

Herschel works in a special education school in Kentucky. Teachers use him as a reward for students who complete tasks.

Jurrens has trained each canine, instructing them to obey 25 commands over an 18-month course. Part of her instruction involves taking the dog to school each day. Jurrens keeps a small bag of treats in her locker to reward Rosa for obeying a “sit” or “shake” command.

While she’s in class, Rosa sits at Jurrens’ feet, often taking a nap during math and English instruction. Her trainer sure doesn’t, evidenced by her 3.85 grade point average.

“Rosa dreams when we’re in class,” says Jurrens. “She sometimes barks or cries during a dream, so I have to wake her up.”

Good fit at West Monona

Jurrens spoke to the school board about the program a few years ago before she began. The board and faculty gave their approval. Principal Steve Peiffer said it’s been a good fit at West Monona. There have been no complaints about allergies or distractions. Actually, it probably has resulted in a series of teachable moments, helping children understand what others less fortunate go through.

“Our students have had a good experience seeing the progress of the dogs,” he says.

“The kids also keep up to date on the dogs Tera has trained,” says Pam Kinney, a staff member. “We sent Herschel a graduation card when he completed his training (in Ohio). The kids all signed it.”

Kinney says she’ll hate to see Jurrens graduate. Faculty members have enjoyed her as a student. They’ve also enjoyed seeing her “students” n the canines n on a daily basis.

“It’s remarkable for any teen to take on that kind of responsibility and remain so dedicated,” says Peiffer.

This isn’t the only thing she does at West Monona, mind you. Jurrens is also a track letter winner and a three-time all-conference cross country runner. She plans to continue her academic and canine-training career this fall at Ohio State University in Columbus. She’s already been given approval to work with a canine around-the-clock as she studies animal science at OSU. One day, Jurrens hopes to work as an assistant trainer at the Canine Companions for Independence national headquarters in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Before that happens, she needs to complete her own finalsn and get Rosa through her exams. Only 30 percent of the dogs in this project do graduate. Thus far, Jurrens is two-for-two. Rosa, who will finish her work in Onawa next month, should make it three.

“This has helped me because I think I’ve learned to accept people with disabilities,” says Jurrens. “We might someday have a student who benefits from having a canine like this. It’s a good feeling to know you’re helping somebody.”

Copyright © 2007 Sioux City Journal

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