If a service dog approaches you without its owner, this is what to do

Kristine Tarbert
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

A public service announcement on service dogs is going viral after a woman shared a story of someone completely ignoring hers.

Tessa Connaughton, a 20-year-old from California, has a service dog named Raider that is trained to react if she has a seizure.

She recently shared a Tumblr post about an incident where her dog was ignored by an ‘annoyed woman’ when he went to get help.

If a service dog approaches you alone, pay attention. Photo: Getty

“If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help,” she wrote in the PSA.

Tessa explains that one day she fell ‘flat on her face’. She was fine but her service dog assumed she was suffering a seizure and went to fetch an adult as trained.

Photo: Tumblr/lumpatronics

“I went after him after I had dusted off my jeans and my ego, and I found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman,” the post continued.

“She was swatting him away and telling him to go away.”

The post was then shared on Twitter and it soon became apparent that a very large number of people had ‘no idea’ that was protocol.

So next time you see a service dog alone, don’t ignore it. Pay attention.

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