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Governor Corbett, Susquehanna Service Dogs Join to Sign H.B. 165

Governor Corbett will join Susquehanna Service Dogs for a ceremonial signing of H.B. 165, the recently enacted bill that allows for harsher penalties for dogs owners whose animals attack service dogs. The bill’s passage acknowledges the importance of service dogs and the extensive training it takes to prepare them to serve people with disabilities. The signing will take place on August 8 at 10 a.m. in SSD’s training space in the Harrisburg Mall.

Harrisburg, PA (PRWeb) August 7, 2012 – On August 8, Governor Corbett will join Susquehanna Service Dogs for a ceremonial signing of H.B. 165, the bill that was recently enacted to allow for harsher penalties for dog owners whose animals attack service dogs. The signing will take place on Wednesday, August 8 at 10 a.m. in SSD’s training space at the “Puppy Palace” on the second level of the Harrisburg Mall (next to Game Stop).

H.B. 165 provides that if a dog attacks a service dog, the owner of the dog could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor if they had knowledge of the animal’s aggression, or if the animal had a history of attacks. Individuals found responsible for a service dog’s harm would be responsible for veterinary bills, replacement and training costs of a new service dog, fines, and more.

The passing of this bill acknowledges the importance of service dogs and the extensive training that goes into developing a service dog. Their extensive skills enable them to serve a person with disabilities to be more independent in their lives.

Governor Corbett will be joined by others who were instrumental in passing H.B. 165, as well as by multiple SSD working dog teams, puppy raisers and other volunteers, and service dogs in training.

“Susquehanna Service Dogs is honored that Governor Corbett has invited us to be a part of the signing of a bill that has such a tremendous impact on our field,” says Nancy Fierer, founder and director of SSD.

Since its inception in 1993, Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services Children & Family Services, has placed more than 200 service dogs with people who have disabilities. SSD dogs assist children and adults with mobility, hearing, and psychiatric disabilities, as well as people with autism and military veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Each dog is professionally trained to meet the individual needs of their partner and completes tasks such as opening doors, picking up dropped objects, assisting with daily dressing, or pulling a manual wheelchair. The program is fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International and is a part of the United Way of the Capital Region. SSD relies on donations and a dedicated group of volunteers, many of whom raise the dogs that will go on to change lives, to fulfill its mission of “Opening Doors and Changing Lives.”

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SUSQUEHANNA SERVICE DOGS
OPENING DOORS, CHANGING LIVES

The official registration and financial information for Keystone Children & Family Services an agency of Keystone Service Systems and Keystone Partnership may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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