Sampson — Service

Location: Foosland, Illinois

Going to college in a science field being partnered with a service dog presented an obstacle. Service dogs were not allowed in laboratories. This began a long, winding road of overcoming resistance through persistent education to change policies. Sampson is the first service dog to gain access to a biology laboratory and now a research laboratory at the University of Illinois which promoted policy change nationwide. Sam is an official laboratory member of a world-renowned research laboratory. We are currently working to launch a 2-year research study measuring the impact a service dog has in a laboratory environment. Findings could possibly assist in developing a national model for service dog accommodations. We have worked with the American Chemical Society providing a template for service dog accommodations in chemistry laboratories. We volunteer time to community and veteran organizations promoting service dog awareness and education. We share our journey. We work as peer-mentors for people with service dogs, brain injuries, psychological disorders and PTSD. Theo: The Service “Lab”rador and Sampson the Service Dog Facebook page provides inspiration to people around the world. We are changing policies. We have been able to provide hope and change because Sam is always there doing his job. He is my partner. None of what has been accomplished would be possible without Sampson by my side. His “this is the best day ever” attitude is an inspiration to me and so many others.

Voting is now closed. Meet the 2018 finalists on July 25 at 12PM Pacific Time!