Service Zoo

Elayna Jansen

Service zoo

By. Elayna Jansen 


Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with special needs. The list of needs can go on forever, from Autism Service Dogs to Diabetic Alert Dogs to Hearing Dogs, and so many inbetween 


The first guide dog was used in 1916, assigned to a German veteran named Paul Feyen. Three years later, the number of guide dogs exploded to over 500 and in the United States there are approximately 10,000 issued guide dogs and only 2 percent are issued to the blind. 


A recent study by National Geographic says that dogs are “not stressed by their “work,and in fact seem to enjoy it in most cases” seeing a dog, being happy to help someone in need would melt anyone’s heart. But what about other animals? 


Mind Blowingly, pigs, parrots, ferrets, and even ducks have been trained to become service animals. The list can go on and on to even miniature horses and monkeys as well. 


Somepeople may not be dog people, maybe someone has a fear of dogs, maybe they or a family member is allergic. These are all reasons someone may need a different animal to support their lifestyle 


It takes a minimum of 120 hours for an animal to be trained for servicing humans, as far as I know two students have trained Dogs for the service at Lakeridge, To be a service dog, the dog must be trained to perform specific tasks on cue for the benefit of the person with a disability. 

When around service dogs it is important not to touch, feed, talk, or distract the dog when it has its vest on. The animal is working should be treated as such, if the owner says you cannot touch the pet the dog do not get offended, it still has a job to do.