Saint Francis Service Dogs provides professionally trained dogs to people with a disability in
order to assist them to live a more independent and self-sufficient life. The people we
serve may have autism, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, stroke,
rheumatoid arthritis, brain injury, amputations, paralysis or other disabling conditions.
Service dogs are taught a wide range of commands in order to assist in the activities of
daily living. They retrieve items, carry things, open doors, turn lights on and off, and bring
the phone, among many other things. At the same time, their 24-hour companionship
provides the safety and peace of mind that comes from knowing that the dog can both
provide physical assistance and seek help if needed. The partnership generates a strong
emotional bond between human and dog. Through this bond, the person often develops a
positive focus and an incentive to be active. The result is increased motivation, higher
self-esteem, a greater sense of belonging, as well as more social interaction and a higher
quality of life.
These observations are confirmed by medical studies. A 1996 study found that people with
disabilities who had a service dog demonstrated dramatic improvements in daily living and
leisure activities, as well as in work and school attendance, with an overall improvement in
well-being, self-esteem and quality of life. A 1993 study reported that 90% of mobility
impaired service dog owners reported being more independent and less lonely after
receiving a service dog. The study also found that 75% of all service dog owners said that
relationships with friends, community and family improved after receiving a service dog.
Saint Francis trainers, staff and volunteers, as well as partners and their family members,
commonly report observing major increases in self-confidence, assertiveness and general
mood improvement from people as they assume relationships with their dog partners.
Partnership with a service dog can enable a person to attend school, obtain meaningful
work, and participate fully in the life of their community.
Saint Francis thanks Purina for their support
If you are interested in applying for a Saint Francis Service Dog, please visit
the How to Apply page for instructions.
For questions or additional information about Saint Francis Service Dogs contact us at
email@example.com or call 540.342.DOGS (3647).
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