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Learning Center Experience
In August, the Center for Public Service would like to recognize
service dogs in honor of International Service Dog Week and National Service
Dog Day. Service dogs have changed so many lives for the better, helping
individuals lessen the implications of their disabilities or limitations; and
in the case of police and search and rescue K9s their work has positively
impacted and changed many lives and entire communities perhaps by one
heroic act. They are an important part of our communities and the
public service sector.
Nominated by Kathy Holt, Kaplan University
student pursing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Applied Behavioral Analysis.
“Grace is a service dog by being with me, giving me comfort and solace against my depression. Without her begging for love or treats or a walk, I would have no reason to go on. She is very sweet and loveable and misses me terribly when she can't go places with me. Seeing her excited to see me when I come home is the best welcome. She should be recognized because she has made such a wonderful impact on my life.” ~Kathy Holt
Nominated by John Dorgan, Kaplan University student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement.
was the K9 partner of Deputy Kyle Pagerly of the Berks County Sheriff's
Department. On June 29, 2011, Deputy Pagerly, Jynx, additional sheriff's
deputies, US Marshalls, and police officers attempted to serve a felony warrant
on a violent fugitive. The fugitive, Matthew Connor, took cover in a sniper's
nest with an AK-37 semi-automatic rifle.
Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht said,
"Jynx alerted Pagerly as to where the sniper was hiding and Pagerly then
ordered Connor to drop his weapon. When he refused, gunfire ensued and Deputy
Pagerly was shot and killed. In an attempt to remove his partner from harm's
way, Jynx attempted to drag Deputy Pagerly to safety. Matthew Connor was
prepared to ambush the entire fugitive task force. Without the heroic acts of
Deputy Jynx many lives could have been lost that night."
by David Reed, Kaplan University student pursing a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management.
is my service dog and works with me in keeping me calm when I am out in large
crowds and around fireworks. He also works great with handicap children by
giving them a focus point and something to love. Also when we are out he helps
keep parents alert to where their children are. If Rocco sees children alone he
will bark and alert the adults in the area so that the child can be reunited
with their parents.
Rocco is a very
large German shepherd and gets attention from everyone he meets. He is a good example
that large dogs do not necessarily indicate that they will be mean. He has been
a lifesaver for me because I can go back out with my family. Before Rocco my
PTSD would not allow me to be around large groups of people because I would
have panic attacks. Now with him by my side, I can stay calm and relaxed and
enjoy family time. He also works with our friend’s autistic child and helps him
stay calm and come out of his shell to try new things” ~ David Reed
Nominated by Melissa Reddin, Kaplan University student pursing a Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
“I have epilepsy and he alerts before I have a seizure, sometimes hours
before. I have learned that when Henry gets ‘antsy’ that I need to slow things
down and be ready because a seizure is coming. He stays near me but is restless
prior to a seizure’ afterwards, he is almost as postictal as I am!” ~ Melissa Reddin
Nominated by Robert Antoine, Kaplan University student pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.
Student Robert Antoine’s German shepard Montana is a retired K9 border
patrol dog that specialized in drug and cadaver search. “He was the best
partner I ever had” said his owner Robert Antoine. Thanks for your service,
by Timothy Wilent, a Kaplan University student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management.
and Rescue. Aksel is eight months old
and trains three days out of the week in tracking and obedience.
by Sallie Stratton, a Kaplan University student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in substance abuse.
is a seizure alert assistance provider. He will alert me up to an hour before a
seizure is happening so I can take my medication. He will place himself between
me and anything close to me when I am having a seizure. This helps to prevent
injury in the event I fall during a seizure. He also protects me until help
arrives from uniformed personnel. Romeo
makes my life free as I live alone." ~ Sallie Stratton
Nominated by School of Public Safety adjunct faculty Robert Bradely. Owner: The Centre County District Attorney’s Office (Pennsylvania)
Eight-year-old Princess, a beautiful Yellow Labrador, has served many people in many different capacities. Princess spent the first year of her life in a state correctional institution living with and sharing a cell with a female inmate and service dog in training. The inmate and the dog worked together to teach puppy Princess basic obedience skills while the inmate learned the responsibility and joy of giving back to the community.
Once Princess reached one year of age, she went on to Lancaster, PA where she joined other graduate puppies for additional training to become a service dog. Princess was trained and eventually placed in a home to assist a small boy. When complications arose with the child's health and Princess was off to find her next human partner. At the age of four-and-a-half years old, Princess found her new home: The Centre County Office of the District Attorney. As the first official court dog on the east coast, Princess meets and assists all victims of crime, but she specializes in child victims who must enter the court system. Princess will accompany these children to interviews with law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecutors, and most importantly to the courtroom. Princess lays at the child's feet inside the witness box and provides comfort and support while the child testifies about their abuse, with their abuser sitting right there in the courtroom. Often if the child is crying, Princess will raise her head and nudge the child with her snout to let them know they are not alone. Princess also provides entertainment to the children by doing her vast array of tricks for treats. Children and other victims have sent cards and even Christmas presents to Princess thanking her for helping them through such a traumatic time. Princess has attended local, state, and national conferences to spread the word about the great work she does. As a result of her success, several other counties in the state of PA and other states now have dogs to assist in their courts and advocacy centers. The Centre County District Attorney’s office sees approximately 1800 victims come through the court system each year. Princess has been with the District Attorney’s office for nearly 4 years. Princess has a kind and gentle soul, and most people who meet her fall in love with her immediately.
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