Written by Brian Hartz
Courtesy of Limestone Post Magazine, March, 2016
Dogs can do the most amazing things, from sniffing out bombs, drugs, and prey to fetching the newspaper and just being there for us when we need unconditional love.
But service dogs are a breed apart.
We're used to seeing service dogs helping people who are visually impaired make their way in the world, enhancing their freedom of movement and sense of confidence. But these capable canines can also detect high or low blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes, open doors, push medic-alert buttons, use their body weight to prevent falls, and disrupt repetitive behavior in individuals with autism, among other life-saving responsibilities.
"A service dog is a dog that is task-trained to mitigate the legally defined disabilities of a handler," says Kori Marshall Peppy, a Bloomington-based service dog trainer who is also responsible for PupCake The Service Dog. However, she adds, "it is very important for people to understand that not all disabilities are visible. When you see someone walking through the grocery store, smiling and walking confidently with a service dog at their side, it may or it may not seem like the handler is in need of the dog. What many may not know is that the handler could have a seizure without warning should they not have the working dog. [The handler's] confidence comes from knowing that her service dog will detect a seizure 30 minutes before it happens."
Courtesy of Bloom Magazine, Feb/March Issue, 2016
By Barb Berggoetz
Herbie pulls Jenelle Dorner's wheelchair. She braces herself on the black lab's back to help her stand. She holds his harness for steadiness on short walks. When she points to an object, he brings it to her.
For four years, Herbie has been the Bloomington woman's crutch, her support, and her faithful companion. The 6-year-old service dog, provided by the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN), has made her life inestimably easier and safer. Dorner deals with muscle weakness, fatigue, seizures, and other chronic symptoms caused by mitochondrial disease, a progressive movement disorder.
To read more about about Janelle and Herbie, and other service dogs like him, click here.
THIS weekend on Pet Pals TV: Meet Allen, the Facility Therapy Dog, helping Central Elementary School students EVERY DAY the past 5 years. GREAT job, Allen!!
Courtesy of WISH TV
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Service dogs can be an incredible resource to people with certain disabilities.
Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of the system and selling fake medical alert dogs.
Pet Pals TV is shedding light on the issue with ICAN.
To read the whole article, and watch a video on false service dogs, Click Here.
Indianapolis, Indiana (December 11, 2015) – On December 10, 2015 Indiana Women’s Prison (IWP) celebrated another successful Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) graduation. Seven dogs graduated last night.
Two dogs were partnered with clients with invisible disabilities. One of the clients has Type I Diabetes and is unaware of his plummeting blood sugar. ICAN Moravia, known as a big, lovable yellow lab, was taught how to identify the scent of low blood sugar and alert his client, averting a medical crisis of hypoglycemia.
ICAN Johari, known as a gentle, sweet black lab and golden retriever cross, has been taught how to respond to his client when he has a seizure. He will "find help" or alert a caregiver, lay beside his client when he seizes, providing comfort, and retrieve a pillow and cell phone as he is recovering.
“ICAN is one of our programs that has a special effect on those involved,” commented Superintendent Steve McCauley, who is an ICAN Advisory Board member.
Since 2001, the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) has been meeting two important needs in Indiana communities: (a) ICAN provides children and adults living with a disability greater independence and an opportunity for a more enriched life by partnering them with a service dog and, (b) ICAN prepares offenders to return to their communities better equipped to successfully reintegrate with their families and obtain employment. Once handlers complete 3600 hours of dog training, they receive a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship with the U.S. Department of Labor in Service Dog Training.
Graduation Ceremony in Jerome Brewer Recreation Center
Public Information Officer
Indiana Women’s Prison
2596 North Girls’ School Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46214
(317) 244-3387 ext. 386