SALEM — A new class of Oregon State Hospital (OSH) service dogs just graduated! OSH patients and staff came together for the Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD) graduation ceremony at the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center in Salem earlier this month.
Roy, the service dog trained at OSH, graduated alongside several owner-trained service dogs and service dogs trained by inmates at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution and Shutter Creek Correctional Institution. About 50 people attended the event.
“It’s amazing to be a part of such a large program – I was impressed that there are so many people involved in getting these service dogs to the people who need them,” one OSH patient reflected.
“I can tell that Roy’s new person will love him as much as we did. … Roy will always be the first dog I’ve trained – he’s part of my story, forever,” said a patient, seeing Roy with his new owner.
The training is made possible through a partnership between the hospital’s Vocational & Educational Services Department (VESD) and Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD), a Salem-based nonprofit organization that matches dogs with people who have disabilities.
For more information about the OSH Service Dog Training Program, contact Tom Anhalt, VESD director, at 503-945-9978; or Doug Anderson, VESD program coordinator, at 503-947-2858.