What To Do If A Service Dog Approaches You Without Their Owner

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Melissa Hope, a Twitter user, recently posted a PSA that got a lot of attention. When Melissa face-planted to the ground, her service dog sprang into action to look for help. While Melissa was totally fine otherwise, her dog was trained to find help in the event she has a seizure, which is what the dog thought had happened.

The service dog was shooed away from a woman who did not understand that the dog was trying to find help for its owner. This is when Melissa took to the Internet to post a very blunt PSA about service dogs and what it means when they approach you without their owner.

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Interacting With A Service Dog

Service Dog named Cadence wearing a US Army jacket
Four-month-old Service Dog, Cadence | photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

In her PSA, Melissa explains her situation and follows up with why service dogs need to be taken more seriously. “Don’t get scared, don’t get annoyed, follow the dog! If it had been an emergency situation, I could have vomited and choked, I could have hit my head, I could have had so many things happen to me,” Melissa suggests.

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Many people took to social media to support Melissa’s PSA. They encouraged people to learn about service dogs. After Melissa’s PSA many people began sharing their personal experiences with service dogs and how they’ve had success when encountering these special animals. Candid tips and personal stories are very helpful, but if you’re looking for more information, The U.S. Department of Justice’s FAQ page on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and service animals is very helpful.

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I love this advice from Gretchen!

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Twitter

Even local pet associations have commented on the PSA with their full support!

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Most, if not all, service dogs will have some form of uniform on. It’s usually a bright colored vest. If seen without their owner, they are probably seeking help because it’s what they’re all trained to do!

It’s evident that Melissa’s PSA was a blatant yet helpful wake-up call. Many people online didn’t even realize that being approached by a service dog may signify that their owner is in danger.

regal looking service dog
Regal and Supportive Service Animal | Max Pixel

We can’t imagine why anyone would shoo away a dog in general, but now we’re all that much more informed! Thank you, Melissa!

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service dog
Found Animals Foundation // Flickr

What did you think about Melissa’s service dog PSA? Try your best not to laugh when you watch the video below!

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What do you think?

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