Give a Dog a Chance

OPINION by Mark Lacy

Dogs have important jobs. We don't always know what they are, but they know.

Dogs are always on guard, looking and listening. Some dogs have performed amazing life-saving rescues. They would never leave something spilled on the floor. And, they are always excited to go wherever their work takes them.

Dogs routinely check to see that everyone in the house is okay and they take their people on healthy walks. Just like people, some dogs need to be trained for their jobs.

For the blind and disabled, dogs play an important role in their ability to function. Dogs offer love and affection regardless of any defects people may have. But, dogs must go to school to learn to think and act in the most helpful way for the person they care for.

People are lucky to have dogs, but many who need them cannot afford well-trained and educated dogs. Raising a special assistance dog is expensive.

If you would like to help a dog get the necessary training to help a disabled person, contact the agencies below.

Canine Assistance

Canine Companions for Independence
P.O. Box 446
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0446
1-800-572-2275 V/TDD

Guide Dogs for the Blind
P.O. Box 151200
San Rafael, CA 94915-1200

Leader Dogs for the Blind
P.O. Box 5000
Rochester, MI 48308

Guide Dog Foundation
371 East Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787-2976

Guide Dogs of America
13445 Glenoaks Blvd.
Sylmar, CA 91342

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
P.O. Box 142, Bloomfield, CT 06002

In the U.K.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Head Office and Registered Office
Hillfields, Burghfield Common, Reading RG7 3YG
Tel: (0118) 983 5555

Additional note: Some dogs work in law enforcement as police dogs and have been shot in the line of duty. Some states are working to raise the penalty for injuring a police dog while committing a crime.