The Foothills SNAPS program has started a new campaign to spread awareness in support of service dogs.

SNAPS are distributing stickers that businesses can apply to the front of their establishment to denote their support for service dogs, and welcome them and their owners into their store.

SNAPS Foothills Executive Director Orvella Small says there are questions and concerns that some customers and business owners still have.

"We probably get more questions about food establishments than anything else, and occasionally people raise concerns about allergies as well. We still don't think these are enough of a reason to not allow service dogs in their workplace."

The Foothills SNAPS program helps families apply for the assistance of a service dog, which is often funded by various organizations.

Small says, local need for these highly trained K-9 professionals, is increasing.

"There's certainly more of an increase in the amount of families looking into applying for a service dog, so we have been doing more education than we ever have in the past."

Despite the increase in awareness for the dogs, Small says the SNAPS program has a long history with establishing service dog support for families who need the extra assistance.

"We've been around for 20 years, and one of our very first SNAP's families would have been one of the first ones to acquire a service dogs, and have the dog able to assist in the school, that would have been around 18 years ago now."

Some business owners have expressed concerns of "fake" service dogs entering their store, but Small say's licensed service dogs are packing the appropriate papers.

"If anybody has a question at all, they can request to see the documentation, service dogs carry papers of registration with them in their jackets, and that will prove the validity of the service dog in their workplace."

Small says that if businesses want to chat about service dogs, or ask any questions, they welcome them to contact SNAPS directly.

"If anybody wants a sticker, or any information we welcome them to reach out to us, we will certainly come out and talk to them or their staff. You never know when one of your employees or customers require their service, so we want everyone to be prepared."

Contact information can be found directly at the SNAPS website.

 

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