October 12, 2005
Mentally disabled clients at the Adelante Development Center in Albuquerque, N.M., are training dogs to become service animals, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The dogs learn how to perform routine chores like loading the dishwasher, getting food out of the refrigerator, and putting clothes in the dryer, while the trainers develop vocational, cognitive, verbal, social and physical skills that may help them find future employment, the paper reported.
Training generally takes six to eight months. After training, the dogs are sent to Assistance Dogs of the West in Santa Fe, N.M., to be paired with a disabled person, according to the paper.
So far, two dogs have graduated from the program.