Mars Petcare and American Humane Debut Service Dog Training Videos
The American Humane, a national humane organization which has been supporting the U.S. military for more than 100 years, and Mars Petcare, a pet nutrition and health care business, have joined forces to produce two free service dog training videos designed to help train business and retail employees to better accommodate veterans and other patrons who have service dogs.
A survey conducted by American Humane suggests employees are ill-informed and unprepared to accommodate the unique needs of customers with service dogs. Nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) of retail employees said they never received training from their employer on the questions they are legally allowed to ask customers to verify an animal is a service dog.
These new training videos provide helpful information and guidance about how employees can properly and lawfully attend customers with service dogs in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and include business owner and veteran testimonials. The downloadable videos are available free.
In 2016 Mars Petcare and the Schultz Family Foundation, among others, helped fund an effort led by American Humane and leaders in the veteran, service dog, veterinary, hotel and transportation fields to create the first national training standards for service dogs. These now-complete national standards are being utilized to better serve veterans grappling with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), and a new national registry is being developed to help verify legitimate service animals in a pilot program by American Humane and the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO).
"Working to create national standards for service dogs is just the start of our critical partnership to support veterans and others who rely on their help," said Jam Stewart, vice president, corporate affairs at Mars Petcare, which has headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. "Our Better Cities for Pets program focuses on creating a world where pets are welcome across our communities, and when it comes to service dogs, that mission is more critical than ever."