Service dogs get tested on training skills

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The phrase ‘a man’s best friend’ is a common way to describe your relationship with your pup.

Paws4People is a local nonprofit that gives people with a disability assistance through canine companionship.

More than 40 dogs will soon move on to their forever home.

It’s been a long process for these pups. Each canine has been through a two year course leading up to this day.

Assistance teams were tested on a variety of commands at the Independence Mall and Whole Foods in Wilmington.

If they pass, they move on to Saturday’s graduation at UNCW.

“They are truly changing somebody else’s life,” Sam Cleary, Marketing and Events Coordinator, said. “They are helping get along through their daily life and I don’t need a service dogs, I don’t need an assistance dog, but someone else does. I can say I helped that process and I get to see the smile on their face when they are working with their dog, they pass their tests every year and walk across that stage at graduation.”

Randy Powers was matched with his dog Morgan back in July.

“She’s been a miracle for me,” Powers said. Powers had a back and spine injury which left him with very limited mobility.

“Morgan has got me out of a chair,” Powers said. “I can now walk a mile.”

He says this four-legged friend can heal any wounds.

“I’ve been known to fall in stores, so Morgan kind of gives me the confidence and helps me so I don’t have to put myself in those situations,” Powers said.

Paws4People started back in 1999 and since have placed more than 500 dogs with owners.

The graduation ceremony for the pups will be held at the Warwick Center Ballroom at UNCW at Noon.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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