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Susquehanna Service Dog Gideon to Throw Out First Pitch at Wednesday’s Senators Game

The Harrisburg Senators first pitch on their June 6 baseball game will be unusual. Susquehanna Service Dog Gideon will be throwing out the first pitch. Susquehanna Service Dogs will be the community organization of the night, and fans are encouraged to visit their table to meet the dogs and learn more about how service dogs change the lives of people with disabilities.

SSD Gideon wears Senators baseball cap and holds baseball in mouth while laying on a picnic table

Harrisburg, PA (PRWeb) June 4, 2012 – The catcher at Wednesday’s Harrisburg Senators baseball game will be on the receiving end of an unusual first pitch when Susquehanna Service Dog (SSD) Gideon delivers the ball to open the game.

Gideon is a 10-year-old black Labrador Retriever that acts as SSD’s ambassador, routinely visiting community groups, schools and civic clubs to show what a service dog can do to provide independence for someone with a disability. Specifically, he can open doors, pick up dropped objects as small as a quarter, close drawers and assist with purchasing items at a store, among other things.

Gideon will be on hand at the game with other SSD Dogs, representing SSD as the community organization of the night. Fans attending the game are encouraged to stop by SSD’s table to meet the dogs, learn more about how service dogs help people with disabilities and find out how to get involved.

Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), a program of Keystone Human Services Children & Family Services, has placed more than 200 service dogs with people who have disabilities since 1993. 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, fulfill its mission of “Opening Doors and Changing Lives.”

For more information on SSD, call 717-599-5920 or visit www.keystonehumanservices.org/susquehanna-service-dogs/.

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