Therapy animals have been humans for years, but one 12-year-old boy from Alexandria, Virginia, is fighting to keep his trusty dog by his side.MSNBC.com
reports that the family of Andrew Stevens, an elementary school student who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, is speaking out against the Fairfax County Public Schools' decision not to let his therapy dog, Alaya, attend classes with him. The pup, who has been trained to predict the oncoming of a seizure, uses a magnet in her collar to prevent an episode from taking place.
However, the school board insists that the pup poses a risk to the other students.
"A service dog is trained very well," Nancy Stevens told Matt Lauer on the Today Show. "If Andrew sits, the dog is going to sit. If Andrew gets up, the dog is going to get up. A service dog will not bite anybody at all."
Service dogs are not only able to help epileptics. In fact, the animals are often used to assist patients who suffer from intense anxiety as well.