ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- For some veterans, having a service animal is crucial. However, service dogs require specific training that allow them to effectively help their owners.
Service Dogs of New Mexico provides services and training to various organizations to support service animals and their handlers with a special focus on veterans. Each veteran’s requirements are kept in mind during the process or getting a service dog and the organization strives to make sure each animal is compatible with its owner.
Director of Service Dogs of New Mexico, Bennie Muliere and Veteran Service Dog Handler Dottie Gould explain that not every dog can be a service dog. Muliere states that all dogs must go through a critical evaluation process which determines if the dog will make a good service companion.
Dogs must be specifically compatible with the veteran they will be helping. Gould, who was an Army nurse in Vietnam, says her dog Emma is a recent rescue and is in currently in training.
Due to additional mobility issues, Gould has also trained another, larger dog through Service Dogs of New Mexico who she says makes it possible for her to leave her house.
Muliere says there aren’t specific breeds that make better service animals as each breed could be beneficial depending on each veteran’s needs. She explains that she has seen breeds from Shelties to Chihuahuas that have made exceptional service dogs.
For more information about Service Dogs of New Mexico, click here.