Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that names service dogs as the state’s pawfficial pup!
Service dogs are pups who go through rigorous amounts of training to learn tasks to help people with disabilities live out their daily lives. These tasks can include helping blind people navigate the world, alerting humans to seizures or other medical emergencies, helping to mitigate the effects of PTSD or dozens of other lifesaving tasks.
They can be any breed of dog, from a tiny Chihuahua to a big Pibble.
As a human who’s been saved by the power of a service pup, New York’s declaration made me cry a few tears of joy this morning. When I heard the news, I couldn’t imagine it getting any better… but it does.
New York officials aren’t going to stop at just honoring service dogs, they’re going to honor all working dogs. By early next year, New York will recognize every dog who selflessly dedicates their lives to caring for and protecting humans as an official state dog.
The term “working dog” encompasses a wider range of jobs, including military dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs (like those who helped save humans on 9/11), therapy dogs and emotional support animals.
Gov. Cuomo said:
Every day, working dogs protect, comfort and give their friendship and affection to New Yorkers in need of assistance. These devoted companions embody the spirit of New York – hard working, loyal and eager to serve.
As the human member of a service dog team, this news is one of the most incredible things I’ve heard all month – but I think any dog lover would agree. Working dogs deserve as much recognition as pawssible. They help us heal, they help us maintain our independence, they fight crime and in some cases, they give their lives so that we can go on living ours.
High paws to New York for honoring our brave and compassionate furry friends!