Maui Service Dog Graduates Paired With with Residents
By Maui Now Staff
The graduation ceremony will be held at Assistance Dogs of Hawaiʻi’s main campus in Makawao this weekend.
The service dogs are currently attending a team training camp and were recently matched with their new partners.
Each assistance dog completed 1 ½ to 2 years of training and passed rigorous health and temperament screenings.
Organization representatives say graduate teams will be place on Oʻahu, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.
Among the teams graduating this Sunday, Dec. 14, is courthouse dog Faith, a two-year-old black Labrador, who works full time assisting Mitch Roth and the Hawaiʻi Prosecutor’s Office..
ADH representatives say Faith provides courage and comfort to children who are victims of crime and helps them to find their voice through the difficult legal process.
Organization leaders say that next year, Hawaiʻi will become the first state in the country to have a courthouse dog in every jurisdiction.
Also graduating is Scout, a social therapy dog who has been paired with Stephanie of Makawao.
Scout is a 3-year-old Labrador Retriever who helps Stephanie with social interactions and tasks around the house. On the weekends, they both enjoy paddling with the Kīhei Canoe Club.
Another therapy dog, Emmitt has been paired up with the Maui Homeless Resource Center.
Emmitt is a 1 ½-year-old Golden Retriever that was brought on board to bring fund and friendship to the children and families of the resource center in Wailuku.
AHA representatives say many of the children at the center have to leave family pets behind, and appreciate the regular visits with Emmitt.
Also graduating this weekend are medical scent detection dogs Abe, Aka and Angel, also known as the “A Team.”
The 2-year-old Labrador litter-mates are participating in a groundbreaking research study at the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific in Honolulu.
Organization representatives say they are the first dogs in the world to work in a clinical research study in a hospital setting. They have been taught to provide early detection of certain life threatening conditions. The results of the research will soon be published in a medical journal.
Assistance Dogs of Hawaii is a non-profit organization based on Maui that provides service dogs to children and adults in Hawaiʻi with physical disabilities.