Dogs help people with life-threatening disabilities - WSMV Channel 4

Dogs help people with life-threatening disabilities

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Dogs have been called our best friends. But for people with life-threatening disabilities , they can be life savers.

Jet, a black lab, has been bred and trained as a service dog. His training began in the most unlikely of places, prison. Jet and other dogs with Retrieving Independence, a non profit based in Linden Tennessee, live with prisoners 24 hours a day.

Lesley Adams closely monitors the training.

"I go in once or twice a week, and work with them. The prisoners take them through basic obedience, through the specialized skills that people need," said Adams.

Moriah Mc Murtry is paralyzed from the waist down.

"Jet knows how to open and close doors, load and unload the washer and dryer, and turn on the lights for Moriah," said Adams.

Thanks to Jet, Mc Murtry can leave her wheelchair from time to time.

"I do have braces now, so I can walk in the braces and I can get him a harness, and he will help me walk with it," said Mc Murtry.

Four people with various degrees of disabilities received their service dogs from Retrieving Independence. Sarah Rutherford is one of them, she suffers from a seizure disorder. Her dog Noir, is trained to take care of Rutherford after her seizure, and even before an episode begins.

"He will alert me before I have seizures, and responds to the seizure afterward by bringing me things I need. He will even lick me on the face to wake me up after a seizure," said Rutherford.

In order to meet the overwhelming need for service dogs, Retrieving Independence needs your financial help to fully equip the Serving With Canines Program.

For more information call 931-589-3838.   

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