‘I feel alive again’ – Service Dogs Helping Those in Need

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LEBANON COUNTY -- On a beautiful, 56-acre former horse farm in East Hanover Township outside Harrisburg, some sweet, loving, and obedient dogs are changing lives.

It's here, where since 1993, Susquehanna Service Dogs has been raising, training, and placing service dogs with people who have disabilities.

"We decide what work they're going to do well with. Are they a dog that will do better with a wheelchair? Do they love picking things up for people in a wheelchair? Are they more sensitive where they would do well with someone with autism or PTSD?" explained Amanda Nicholson, director of training and breeding.

Robert Lighty is a veteran of the Army and Marine Corps, who did multiple tours overseas. He suffers from PTSD and realized he needed help, so he came here.

"I feel alive again," Lighty said. "I feel like I have that partner. I feel like now, I can get back out and do those things I was unable to do."

Nathan Selove is autistic. He came to SSD when he was 11 years old all the way from Virginia. Now, he's back in central Pennsylvania to partner up with his second service dog.

"I would say because of that service dog, I was able to graduate high school. I was able to graduate college and I am now on a full ride scholarship to graduate school," Selove said.

Christina Fegley grew up in Milton. She suffers from muscular dystrophy. With a service dog, she says she's able to live a normal life.

"It allows me to get out and interact with people. It allows me to have a full-time job that I'm able to go to and not have to rely on people and be able to live independently."

All of the service dogs are purebred Labs around 2 years old. When they're being trained, they're housed inside this former horse barn.

This day marks the first that these service dogs will go home with their new partners.

Google Map for coordinates 40.371127 by -76.632873.

Susquehanna Service Dogs

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