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Orphaned Tennessee pooch gets a new job through Medical Mutts in Indy


Patch now helps a young man in Wisconsin.

John Tuohy

On an early morning walk with her dog in March, a 50-year-old woman was struck by a pickup on a bridge near Nashville, Tennessee. The driver fled, and paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital, where she later died. Her dog, a 3-year-old mutt named Patch, ran back to her home to wait.


Police found Patch on the front steps and called Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control shelter. But as workers processed Patch for adoption, they noticed something separated him from most other abandoned dogs.

“He was a sweet, well-behaved dog whose demeanor around the staff suggested he might have some formal training,” said Metro Public Health Department Spokesman Matthew Peters.


The shelter would learn that the victim was visually impaired and suspected Patch had some training, perhaps informally, as a service dog. The shelter called Medical Mutts Service Dogs in Indianapolis, which rescues dogs and teaches them to be assistants for people with diabetes, epilepsy and other afflictions.


The shelter described an all-white 90-pound mixed breed with a splash of black around his left eye who liked to be petted under his floppy ears and sidle up to humans. No family members had claimed him after his owner was killed, they said. But he doesn't bark and he doesn't bite and he's a good boy. He might be a good candidate for the training program, they said.


A week later, Patch was in Indianapolis and being prepped as a service dog.



For more about Medical Mutts Service Dogs, click here: www.medicalmutts.org

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