Only a few months after being homeless Jake becomes a service dog

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Jake, a yellow Lab mix, spends his days tending to three-year-old Kaitlin Abner. Kaitlin suffers from a degenerative brain disease known as Methachormatic Leukodystrophy.  Jake is living an important life as a service dog, but not too long ago he was a homeless stray.

A few months ago Jake was brought to Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside, California. He was thin, dirty and very hungry. The center neutered, microchipped and vaccinated Jake to prep him for adoption. Right around the time Jake was ready for adoption Mary Slavik of Big Paws Canine Academy came to the center looking for potential service and therapy dogs.

Adoption counselor Jack Dehler thought Jake would be a great match. “Jake really has a bright earnestness about him. Even though he is a high energy Lab, he just has that kind of nature about him that makes him different,” Dehler said. Mary conducted a short evaluation and determined Jake could be a good therapy dog.

Jake spent the next three months in training. He learned basic commands and also became comfortable around walkers and canes and other situations that would prepare him to be a service dog. In September Jake got his placement with the Abner family. Kaitlin, whose father is Master Sgt. Chris Abner an active U.S. Army serviceman and Purple Heart recipient, relies on Jake to help regulate her body temperature. Kaitlin’s disease doesn’t allow her to regulate her own body temperature, so Jake acts as an blanket in the winter months. He also blocks people from getting too close in the summer so Kaitlin stays cool. In addition to his service duties he brings daily smiles and happiness to her life.

5 thoughts on “Only a few months after being homeless Jake becomes a service dog”

  1. They have WAY more right than us to live!!!! He is a brilliant animal,intelligent,loving,yet stuck acting as a blanket for a legume of a human being,a genetic error. You all admire this dog because no one could-and should-take care of a mistake of nature. Who lets these fetuses develop? Is your political belief that strong?!

    • Anonymous – you are a disgrace to the human race. It is people like you that are what is wrong in our world. Have some compassion.

  2. You are a tool, it’s no wonder you remain anonymous. How do you know they knew about this disease before the child was born? How dare you judge something you know nothing about!

  3. AND Anonymous – If your brain functions AT ALL – you would have read that Jake was probably SAVED because he was going to be a service dog.

    Had this little girl, or any other child for that matter, hadn’t needed a service dog, Jake would not have the comfort of being a “blanket” for “this mistake of nature” and the love and security of a home for once.

    YOU, Anonymous, are a waste of human flesh.


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