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Pets Theme Unit
Pets that Help - Service Animals



Pets that Help - Service Animals
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    catnap, confidential, electronic-hungry, greetcat, helping, nonprofit, sclerosis, service-dog, intelligent, elderly, enrich, seizure, identify, multiple, personality, organization
     content words:    Seeing Eye, Delta Society, Service Dog, Year Award, New York City, Disney World, Mickey Mouse, Discovery Bay Animal Clinic, Orphan Annie, Defense Research


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Pets that Help - Service Animals
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Pets are wonderful friends and companions. Some animals do even more than that. Service animals help people with disabilities. Over 12,000 people with disabilities use service animals to help them with their daily lives. Other animals provide other kinds of help to their human friends, too.
 
2     Service animals are not pets. They have an important job to do and have been trained to do that job. Service animals are allowed into business and public places where pets are not allowed to go. They can visit restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. They usually wear a saddle to identify them as service animals.
 
3     The most well-known service animals are dogs that help blind people. They are called Seeing Eye dogs. These dogs must be intelligent, patient, and gentle. There are other kinds of service animals, too. A person who is deaf might have a hearing cat to make him aware of noises around him. Service monkeys can be trained to retrieve objects for someone who can't move. Some dogs are even trained to make their owners aware of a pending seizure.
 
4     One amazing service dog was a big lovable mutt named Joey. He was about three years old when he arrived at the animal shelter. No one wanted the enormous, energetic dog. One day, a special lady named Susan came to the shelter. Susan had multiple sclerosis, a disease that made her lose muscle control. Several days earlier, her service dog, Casey, died, and she needed a new helper. Since she had gotten Casey from the animal shelter, she went there to find another friend.

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