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Sunday, February 8, 2009

The United States Service Dog Registry helps find lost Service Dog

-For Immediate Release-

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The United States Service Dog Registry helps reunite a lost autism Service Dog with the two children she is trained to serve. The reunion occurred just days before the children's mother left for Iraq where she is a Clinical Psychologist assisting units dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as part of the Behavioral Sciences division of the Medical Service Corps.

Because of the Registry's strict privacy policy no names may be used, but for ease of explanation we will refer to the family as the "Smiths."

In December the Smiths moved to Michigan with their two autistic children. While still in the process of moving in to their new home, one of the children let the dog out and she became lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The dog was wearing tags, but the contact information had not been changed for the new address. Luckily, one of the tags the Service Dog was wearing was a United States Service Dog Registry tag.

The dog was found by a teacher who works at a special education center. The teacher contacted us via e-mail requesting the owner's information. Due to our privacy policy we do not give out private information for any reason, but we were able to quickly identify the owner via the number printed on the tag. Adding to the difficulty of the situation was the fact that the contact information listed in the Registry was also for the family's old address. Fortunately, we had a current e-mail that we were able to use to reach the family.

"Thank you!" said Dr. Jane Smith. "It was beginning to snow here and I'm leaving for Iraq and we were getting a bit anxious about having her home. My kids didn't sleep last night." After the Service Dog was home safe and sound, Dr. Smith updated her Registry information. Even though this isn't the main purpose of the Registry, we were very happy to have been able to help this family.

About the The United States Service Dog Registry: With the input from over 100 Service Dog handlers in America, the United States Service Dog Registry (USSDR) represents the most democratic realization of an assistance animal registry to-date. The results are a Registry with free online registration conducted by an independent, non-governmental, secure and privacy-conscious service. Service Dog teams may register online at


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The 133rd Westminster Dog Show begins Monday in New York

Sure, it's not a Service Dog event but it's still fun. And if you're looking for someone to root for, we suggest D'Artagnan, one of the top five Bouviers des Flandres in the nation — and also a certified Service Dog who helps his handler, Tracy Turner.

The Westminster Kennel Club 133rd Annual Dog Show is this Monday and Tuesday in New York. Tickets are still available for the Madison Square Garden event, and if you can't make it you can watch it on TV. The Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting, and Herding group competition will be televised live Monday on USA Network from 8-9PM ET and continuing on CNBC from 9-11PM ET. The Sporting, Working, Toy, and Best In Show competition will be televised live Tuesday on USA Network from 8-11PM ET.

Breed judging highlight videos are available throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster Web site. These highlights will be available after the show, as well.

In New York everybody seems to get into the show in a big way. The Empire State Building has put on the dog with Westminster’s official gold and purple colors. Macy’s and Saks 5th Avenue have put up doggy window displays. Even New York's pet-friendly restaurants bone-up with special canine menus. It's part of history — Madison Square Garden has been the home of the dog show since the 1800s. After all, the Westminster Dog Show is one of the top 10 events in the city.

Events surrounding the show carry on all week. For more information check out Metromix New York.