Wednesday, September 4, 2013

helping the helpers

Let me tell you about service animals - not just the guide dogs you may already be familiar with for the blind, but also the others that help with a variety of conditions. Besides visual difficulties, animals can be trained to assist with hearing impairments, seizures, autism, diabetes, mental illness, and more. Typically we are talking about dogs, but some other animals can be trained to render assistance.

Training takes time and money. If you have a service animal you can deduct the expenses related to the buying, training and maintenance of that animal. These are considered medical expenses. This includes expenses for the animal's food, grooming, and medical care. Still even with this, the cost is high and many cannot afford the expense.

The wonderful helper animals, needing some help of their own, actor Dick Van Patten did something and created National Guide Dog Month, after learning that the costs to raise and train guide dogs are cost-prohibitive for many people. Every September there is not only an informational campaign, but also a fundraiser. The Petco Foundation also helps in this effort each year.

The Petco Foundation also helps animal-welfare organizations find loving homes for millions of orphaned animals, as well as fund spay and neuter efforts, animal assisted therapy programs and humane education.  You can find more about them HERE and more about National Guide Dog Month HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment