Service animals seek foster homes - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Service animals seek foster homes

HATTIESBURG, MS. (University of Southern Mississippi) - Service Animals of Mississippi (SAM) is seeking foster families for puppies and dogs currently in training for service work. Service animals provide many types of assistance to individuals with disabilities including retrieval of dropped objects, turning off/on light switches and opening doors.

Community and volunteer support is essential to the success of the program, which is operated by the Institute for Disability Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. SAM provides training and around-the-clock support for volunteers. The program covers expenses (food, supplies and veterinary care).

 Service Animals of Mississippi provides trained service, therapy and companion dogs for children, youth and adults with disabilities. The Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities, a sister agency to IDS, provides grant funding for SAM.

 The Institute for Disability Studies, Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service (UCEDD),  is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a network of 67 interdisciplinary centers in the United States and its territories working to advance policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.

 Volunteer foster information can be found at www.usm.edu/ids/sam/how_you_can_help.php and the volunteer application is available at www.usm.edu/ids/sam/pdf/fosterapplication.pdf.

 For information about the program, call 601.266.5163 or visit us on the Web at www.usm.edu/ids/sam.

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