A public service announcement on service dogs is going viral after a woman shared a story of someone completely ignoring hers.
Tessa Connaughton, a 20-year-old from California, has a service dog named Raider that is trained to react if she has a seizure.
She recently shared a Tumblr post about an incident where her dog was ignored by an ‘annoyed woman’ when he went to get help.
“If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help,” she wrote in the PSA.
Tessa explains that one day she fell ‘flat on her face’. She was fine but her service dog assumed she was suffering a seizure and went to fetch an adult as trained.
“I went after him after I had dusted off my jeans and my ego, and I found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman,” the post continued.
“She was swatting him away and telling him to go away.”
The post was then shared on Twitter and it soon became apparent that a very large number of people had ‘no idea’ that was protocol.
This is important. When I see a service dog, I try to stay as far out of their way as possible. They're doing a job, after all. I'd shoo one away because I'd be fearful they weren't doing their job.
— 🌹Robert K🏳️🌈 (@cinichecuk19) June 19, 2018
I keep seeing the post about "if you see a service dog without their handler, follow the dog, bc their handler is down"
Please do this! Please also take a look at the dog's vest–it may have a patch with directions about how to help, or a patch marking a pocket with info inside
— Bird on a Soft Felt Hat ♿ (@keetfeet) June 19, 2018
Thanks for sharing this, I had no idea ☺
— @@@Flashytrash (@flashytrash) June 17, 2018
I had no idea….thanks for the heads up.
— Crocodile Dumfries (@TheScotsReiver) June 18, 2018
PSA – Remember the Lassie Rule, if you see or are approached by a service dog without its human, follow them… https://t.co/lJkWt0rKbq
— Karl Woerdeman (@KarlW72) June 21, 2018
So next time you see a service dog alone, don’t ignore it. Pay attention.
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