While service dogs can be trusted and loyal companions, they are considered working dogs more so than pets. According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are available to people who cannot perform daily tasks because of a physical impairment, a disorder or disability that affects their ambulation, mobility, maneuverability, or for those on the autism spectrum.
These specially trained canines learn specific commands targeted toward an individual’s particular disability to assist their human partners lead a more independent life. In addition, service dogs have full public access rights and can go into places where other animals aren’t allowed including restaurants, libraries, and public transportation.
The UDS team trains their service dogs to help individuals with autism, those struggling with mobility difficulties or other functionally debilitating events such as a stroke or spinal cord injury or conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy.
We don’t just provide service dogs; we provide independence. UDS in Lancaster, Pennsylvania provides service dog programs for individuals who desire to live a more active, self-sufficient life. The process of nurturing a partnership with one’s service dog is developed for the individual as the dog and handler practice the ability to communicate with each other. UDS understands this as an important part of the matching and adoption process to ensure that not only is the service dog properly trained, but appropriately paired with its owner.
UDS Service Dog Program: Trained by Experts. It is important to recognize that service dogs need to be purposefully trained to match the requirements of individuals with specific needs. This is why the UDS service dog program is a comprehensive process that thoroughly trains both their dogs and clients. UDS service dogs are trained for two years starting as pups by a team of dedicated volunteers and expert professionals.
Cost of Service Dogs. It can cost several thousands of dollars to train and own a service dog. In some cases, the cost may be offset by including a service dog as a medical expense. You may want to consider contacting your insurance company to see if some expenses can be covered.
Support our Service Dog Program. UDS has a number of ways you can help offset the cost of providing service dogs to deserving individuals. The signature event for our service dog program is our Annual Service Dog Golf Outing held each August, and has been a tremendous success thanks to our generous sponsors and attendees. The Service Dog Virtual 5K is also held each year from September 1 through Thanksgiving with all proceeds going to the UDS Service Dog programs. In addition you can sponsor a dog or purchase items on the Service Dog Donation Store website. Any sponsorship or donation is greatly appreciated and will expand the ability to help those who need a service dog get one.
Before Bringing Home a Service Dog, Consider: Is a Service Dog Right for You?
The decision to adopt a service dog goes beyond just bringing home an animal. Having a service dog in one’s life is a commitment that should be considered carefully and thoroughly. This includes that the handler is capable of taking on the responsibility of their service dog for the long term.
As the canine is there to support the handler’s disability, it’s imperative that they in turn are given comfort, safety, and care. For a service dog to perform optimally, they require an environment that affords them protection and stability. Consistency in affection, training, and attention to their well-being is essential.
The UDS team is one of the leading human service providers in Pennsylvania. If you’re in Lancaster, PA or surrounding PA, NJ, DE, or MD areas and are interested in adopting a service dog through UDS, view our service dog page for more information.