California teenager Rosa Zuna meets her service dog. (Photo: ABC News)
After three years on Georgia-based Canine Assistants’ waiting list, Rosa Zuna, a 16-year-old epileptic from Pleasanton, California, has been awarded a specially trained dog, free of charge.
Canine Assistants, a nonprofit, has 1500 people on its waiting list to adopt a service dog, reports ABC News. For many people the cost of a service dog—up to $20,000 in some cases—makes the much-needed service an impossibility. Adopting from a nonprofit like Canine Assistants is the only way they can get the help they need.
The assistance a dog provides to an epileptic can be crucial. Once, when Rosa had a seizure, she fell and blocked the door so her parents couldn’t get into the room to help her. “The next day I had super bruises,” said Rosa. She decided then to apply for a service dog to help control the seizures.
“Once they bond with a person…in about 88 percent of the cases [the dog] will be able to predict when a person has a seizure. This is after they bond. Before they bond they will go get help, they might run in circles, they just know that something is not right.”