Have you ever wondered what it was like to have a service dog? How about the reasons people need service dogs? The Kean University Council for Exceptional Children (KUCEC) hosted a workshop about Service Dog Education, in association with Kayla's Paws Service Dog Training, Education, and Assistance Foundation, on Thursday, Nov. 14th in Hennings Hall, Room 113 to answer those questions.
The KUCEC wants to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about Kayla's Paws and what their mission statement is as an organization. At the workshop, service dogs were discussed in detail: how to get one and all the necessary training required on how to use their service dog.
Kayla's Paws is a non-profit, charity-based organization and their main goal is to provide assistance, training and other general service dog assistance for law enforcement officers who are disabled in the line of duty. The organization was founded by Director and Chief Service Dog Instructor David Nowak, who, in fact, is an alumnus of Kean University. He created the non-profit organization to provide the opportunity for qualified disabled individuals to obtain training for their very own service dog.
"We decided to host Kayla's Paws because we are an organization that promotes acceptance and awareness. Basically, we wanted to have an organization that helps and trains the service dogs and what types of disabilities they do that for," said Jessica Garner, the president of the KUCEC.
Nowak, along with another representative from Kayla's Paws, came to talk to students about all the services the organization has to offer, ranging from service dog training to how to become a service dog trainer. Nowak even brought along two service dogs from his organization to present to students. The dogs' names were Nikita and Bella, and they were highly energetic in meeting the students at Kean. The organization understands how important service dogs are to the individuals that need them to help with everyday activities.
"We have not done an event like this before. I have been in the club for three years, and every year we have tried to find an organization like this to come out and do this for Kean students, and Kayla's Paws agreed to come out and showcase what they do. It is a big deal for us and we are very happy that Kayla's Paws came out for this," said Garner.
Students were glad to have learned so much on how service dogs are crucial to helping out individuals with major disabilities, as well as knowing the ins and outs of how service dog training works. They even got a chance to meet the two service dogs, Nikita and Bella, and had a chance to take a picture with them. If students know anyone in law enforcement with a special disability or are interested in becoming a service dog trainer, they should consider Kayla's Paws Service Dog Training, Education, and Assistance Foundation. Dogs such as Nikita and Bella are here to make sure everyone is welcome no matter the circumstance.