$15,000 Dogs are adopted out Friday - KMOV.com

$15,000 Dogs are adopted out Friday

(KMOV)-- Half a dozen people in wheelchairs or with other physical or mental disabilities have a new friend and helper.  Support Dogs, Inc, which has an office in West St. Louis County, is about to change some lives for the better.

I was at the building Thursday for the final practice session with the dogs and their people.  They'd been working together and bonding for a couple of weeks.

Dogs picked up cell phones with their mouths and brought them to their owner's laps.  They pulled on a rope attached to a refrigerator door to open it... receiving plenty of praise for every job well done.

Support Dogs, Inc is a non-profit that relies on donations to train the dogs.  People who need a service dog can call United Way at 2-1-1 in St. Louis to get things rolling.

It doesn't happen over night.  I talked to Meagan Minster who came down from Wisconsin to train with her new dog, a black lab named "Branson."  She's 20-years-old and has a degenerative condition that put her in a wheelchair in her teens.  The University of Wisconsin student told me she used to dance, but has a very postive outlook and is very happy to have a service dog help her be less reliant on strangers.  She's waited a year for this.

"He'll be a great help for me, " Meagan told me.  "My arms aren't the strongest so he'll be able to open doors and pick things up that used to be a lot more challenging."

For more on Support Dogs, Inc check out www.supportdogs.org.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.

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