BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Ashley Taylor is the head trainer at Service Dogs of Alabama; a non-profit that has helped hundreds of people receive the service dogs they desperately need.
If you see Ashley she will have a dog with her, one of the hundreds, like our Tallulah, who are service dogs or in training to be a service dog.
With two decades of experience and nine years with Service Dogs of Alabama, Ashley knows her canines. There’s Earl a seizure alert dog, Sadie trained to help with PTSD, Buzz a diabetic alert dog, Popcorn a school service dog.. and the list goes on.
The hours of training are long, starting with puppies at Service Dogs of Alabama headquarters in Hope Hull. Then there’s the inmate program at a prison in Tallahassee, Florida where Ashley teaches inmates how to train the dogs with extensive service dog commands.
She says, "It is completely a feel good thing. It's not easy, a lot goes into training a service dog... working with inmates, the families , the volunteers. It can get hectic at times but that ending reward of seeing a life changed, it's worth all of it."
The payoff comes when Ashley works with the recipient of a service dog. She shows them how to bond with what will become their best friend, a lifesaver and a game changer.
She says seeing how someone’s life is changed and how it impacts the entire family is quite a reward. “A mom and dad sleep through the night because the child now has a diabetic response alert dog. They don’t have to sleep in the room with the child anymore. Children go to camps, sleepovers for the first time ever. It’s just spectacular.”
To learn more about Service Dogs of Alabama click here.
We salute Ashley Taylor and all of the folks at Service Dogs of Alabama for “Doing Good”.