12 assistance dog teams graduate
Assistance Dogs of Hawaii recognized all 12 assistance dog teams who graduated in 2018 with a special ceremony on Dec. 1 at Hope Chapel in Kihei. Among the teams honored at the event were a hospital facility dog for the Straub Medical Center, a courthouse facility dog for the Honolulu prosecutor’s office and a service dog for an 11-year-old boy from Mililani. This year, the Makawao-based Assistance Dogs of Hawaii is also celebrating the 100th team to graduate since the program began in 2000:
• Angel, a Labrador retriever, will be working full time with patients at Straub Medical Center, providing a variety of therapeutic benefits for patients. Her handlers are occupational therapists Dale Yasumoto and Katie Tam. Angel was chosen for this job because of her sincere, calm demeanor and gentle nature.
• Clover, a Labrador retriever, will be providing comfort and courage to children who are victims or witnesses of crime throughout the difficult legal process as a Honolulu prosecutor’s office and courthouse dog on Oahu. Director of Victim Witness Services Dennis Dunn is completing team training with Clover.
• Harper, a golden Labrador retriever, will work with Jordan Brub as a service dog. Brub is an 11-year-old boy from Mililani with a spinal cord injury. Harper has learned more than 90 commands to assist Brub, including opening and closing doors, turning on and off lights, retrieving items that are out of reach and alerting Jordan’s parents if he has difficulty breathing during the night.
Assistance Dogs of Hawaii is an award-winning, internationally accredited, 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that has been serving children and adults with physical disabilities and other special needs in Hawaii for the past 19 years. ADH provides professionally trained assistance dogs and lifetime follow-up support free of charge to people in need.
ADH relies on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. For more information, visit www.assistancedogshawaii.org or call (808) 298-0167.