Applaud Service Dog Training Research

Target: Maureen Maurer, Executive Director of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii

Goal: Applaud organization’s newest service dog training program

Assistance Dogs of Hawaii was founded in 1995 after Will and Maureen Maurer realized how difficult it was for disabled Hawaii residents to receive service dogs. The organization has since graduated over thirty service dog teams across the state, and its three-acre Maui facility includes indoor and outdoor training areas, offices and classrooms, kennels, and housing for trainees and graduates. The site is visited weekly by hospitals, schools, and organizations that help those with disabilities. In addition, the organization offers internship, workplace readiness, and student volunteer programs.

While the organization has always been a leader in helping the disabled across Hawaii, its newest training program is receiving national and international attention. The nonprofit organization recently completed a research study in which its service dogs were able to successfully detect bacteria that leads to urinary tract infections (UTIs). These infections are the number-one health complication for those who have disabilities, and can even result in death. According to Doctor Wendi Hirsch of Kapiolani Medical Center, when UTIs are caught early, those with disabilities “…can live their life staying out of the hospital…this is a major additional skill that has immediate practical impact for their day to day life.”

The study was so successful that its findings will be reported in a medical journal and organizations across the world will have the ability to utilize similar training within their programs. Assistance Dogs of Hawaii will begin training all of its dogs to detect UTIs. The training is expected to take two months.

By conducting this study, Assistance Dogs of Hawaii shows a commitment to helping those who have disabilities. This new program will allow service dogs to more effectively help those who are disabled, increasing quality of life and preventing hospital visits.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Maureen Maurer,

Since 1995, Assistance Dogs of Hawaii has provided a valuable service to disabled Hawaii residents. The organization has helped countless people and made their lives more comfortable and enjoyable. The organization’s latest study on training dogs to detect the bacteria that leads to urinary tract infections (UTIs), is truly deserving of praise.

UTIs are the number-one health concern of those who are disabled. By training service dogs to detect the bacteria that leads to these infections, the organization is further improving the lives of the disabled. Furthermore, this training can be adopted worldwide, widening the scope of those Assistance Dogs of Hawaii has helped. We would like to applaud your work.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Found Animals Foundation via Flickr.com

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