U.S. Paralympic medalist Kerri Morgan gave the keynote address at Petfood Forum 2013 on Tuesday, April 16, thanking the petfood industry for making safe, quality foods for service dog, Twix.
Morgan, a winner of two bronze medals at the 2012 London Paralympics, acquired her service dog Twix, a black Labrador Retriever, from C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs Inc. C.H.A.M.P., Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities, is a St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based nonprofit organization that trains and places service dogs for people with disabilities, at no cost.
Morgan, who was born with a disease that left her disabled since age 1, explained that although she was independent before getting Twix, her support dog helps her perform tasks much quicker than she could, saves Morgan’s energy and helps decrease her pain. Morgan received Twix after the dog underwent two years of specialized training to become a support dog. Twix is trained to perform a variety of tasks to aid Morgan in everyday life, from holding her lunchbox and picking up shoes, to retrieving her dropped keys and holding open doors. Morgan and Twix even demonstrated a “Go 911” command, where Twix is trained to fetch a special 911 phone and bring it to Morgan in the case of an accident.
She noted the importance of creating safe, nutritious petfood not only for companion animals, but also for service animals, whose owners rely on the dogs daily.