HEALTH WATCH: No Leash Needed Stresses Importance of Alert Dogs

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A dog training, day camp, and boarding facility, No Leash Needed understands the important role of alert dogs. ClarionLedger.com reports on a new bill that may allow alert dogs in public buildings, which No Leash Needed supports.

Service dogs have long been popular with individuals who have disabilities, as these dogs are able to guide them through everyday activities and help them maintain a higher degree of independence. Although seeing eye dogs and other service animals have become well known, alert dogs are far less recognized but equally important. In an article on ClarionLedger.com, Gary Pettus reports that alert dogs, like other service dogs, may soon be legally allowed in public buildings in the state of Mississippi. No Leash Needed, a dog training organization, supports this measure.

The bill was sparked by the efforts of Christina McCurdy, a teacher who has been kept from bringing her Diabetes Alert Dog to work with her. The dog, named Jinx, is trained to alert McCurdy when her blood sugar level changes. Because of this alert, McCurdy can take her insulin or glucose tablets before her blood sugar level causes an emergency. Jinx is trained to do this through her sense of smell. When she smells low blood sugar she warns McCurdy by putting a paw on her leg.

McCurdy is convinced that Jinx's assistance is crucial to her health. According to Pettus, "McCurdy said she believes Jinx's response time is quicker than meters or other mechanical monitoring devices. McCurdy said she suffered kidney damage before she became Jinx's owner in July."

No Leash Needed fully supports the use of alert dogs in public places, provided the dogs have been appropriately trained. Like other service dogs,

Diabetes Alert Dogs provide an invaluable degree of support to their owners. These dogs have been trained to save lives.

"In addition to being our best friends and family members," commented Shannon Mayfield, Training Director at No Leash Needed, "dogs can be lifelines for many people suffering from devastating illnesses and disabilities. Properly trained and certified assistance animals provide a valuable service to people in need, and it is important to ensure that these people who are already dealing with a difficult situation have the ability to keep their service animals with them at all times."

Although not all diabetics benefit from the services of an alert dog, McCurdy and her supporters are fighting for the rights of those who do.

ABOUT:

No Leash Needed is a dog training, day camp, and boarding facility that takes a personal approach to client care. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, No Leash Needed provides lifetime training and utilizes a diverse list of training techniques. Each dog's training needs are evaluated before training begins, allowing expert dog trainers and owners to determine which training methods will prove most successful.

For more information about the services offered by No Leash Needed, visit http://www.noleashneeded.com.

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Michael McGarety
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