Service Dogs Give Nebraska Children New Leash on Life

By: Laura Berry Email
By: Laura Berry Email

Two Nebraska children say their new service dogs will change the course of their lives, making them more independent and confident.

Jack Ortegren, of Hastings, and Haley Inness, of Seward, just completed a 10-day training camp where they oriented themselves with pups Kenzie and Roscoe. After the camp concluded on Friday, the penitentiary inmates who trained the dogs handed over the animals to 5 year-old Ortegren and 7 year-old Inness. A third child from Utah also received a service dog.

On Saturday, the recipients of the Domesti-pups commemorated the occasion with a luncheon.

Inness was born prematurely and suffers with balance issues due to Cerebral Palsy, while Ortegren suffered an illness as an infant, leaving him paralyzed. The pups are trained to improve the children's mobility by opening doors for them and pulling their wheelchairs.

Ortegren and Inness are not the only ones benefiting from the new arrangement. About half of the dogs Domesti-pups trains as service animals are rescued from shelters and the program gives them new homes.

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