Service dog trainer helps shelters


Medical Mutts Service Dogs Inc., at 6120 Allisonville Rd., held a Service Dogs Graduation Celebration at the Delaware Township Community Center Dec. 13. The organization has called Indianapolis home for 10 years and plans to keep supporting the community.

Medical Mutts trains shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities. Director of Development Kelsey Burton said what sets Medical Mutts apart from other training organizations is that it does not breed dogs.

“We go to local shelters for our dogs,” Burton said. “We work with Indianapolis Animal Care Services and other smaller shelters to source dogs for training. If we end up not being able to train a dog to be a service animal, we adopt them out.”

The organization also uses “ethical training methods.” Burton said that is important for helping foster positive relationships between recipients and their dogs.

“Ethical training is so important for the bonds the dogs create–bonds between trainers and other people in the office and then the bond with their owner,” Burton said.

Medical Mutts focuses on providing service animals for seizure and diabetic alerts and psychiatric support animals. Burton said the organization helps combat the negative stigma associated with shelter dogs.

“These dogs are great,” Burton said. “They kind of become ambassadors for shelter dogs everywhere. A little training goes a long way.”

The waitlist for a service dog is about three years, according to Burton. The organization spends extensive time researching and making sure that the dog chosen for a disabled owner will be a sure fit.

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