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Service animals

a golden labrador doing its job as a seeing-eye dog

Service animals do some of the things that people with disabilities cannot do for themselves. A service animal may:

  • Guide the blind (for instance, a Seeing Eye dog)
  • Alert people with hearing problems to sounds
  • Pull wheelchairs
  • Carry and pick up things for people who have a hard time moving around
  • Respond to medical crises, such as seizures caused by epilepsy

Most service animals are dogs. But other animals can also be trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. For instance, miniature horses are trained to guide the blind and pull wheelchairs. Cats can be trained to pick up dropped items and alert the hearing impaired to important noises.

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Content last updated: September 22, 2009.

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