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Persistent Service Dog Told To ‘Go Away’ When Trying To Get Help

Service animals are essential tools in the disabled community. They are on a mission to serve, protect, and help their handlers overcome medical obstacles. Sometimes, this means getting the attention of a human who can help their owner in crisis! But what happens when one of these life-saving creatures is ignored?

Raider: A Loyal, Hard-Working Service Dog

Tessa Connaughton is a 20-year-old woman from San Fransisco. Over two years ago, Tessa decided to invest in something to help her with her autism: a service dog. This led her to Raider! The pup has been trained to apply deep pressure to Tessa’s body when she becomes anxious. Recently, they’ve had to face a new challenge together.


Tessa was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. Raider is undergoing new training to keep Tessa safe during her seizures! However, it will take time to completely adjust the canine to her illness. Since Tessa struggles with loud noises such as barking, she’s taught Raider a temporary skill: finding a human for help. A few days ago, the pup was given a chance to execute their new training!

Seeking Serious Help And Being Swatted Away

When Tessa went to the grocery store for coffee creamer, she didn’t expect to face a medical emergency. However, her loyal and well-trained dog was already on high-alert. While shopping, Tessa slipped and fell. Raider thought that she may be having a seizure. Immediately, the canine went looking for help! Unfortunately, he didn’t find it.

Tessa Connaughton

As soon as she got to her feet, Tessa tracked down Raider. She was shocked to find the person Raider was trying to get the attention of was swatting at her service animal like a pest! Unsettled by the woman’s ignorant actions, Tessa decided to make sure that her situation wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

Tessa’s Terror-Induced, Powerful Reaction

In an effort to help fellow service dog owners, Tessa set to Tumblr to give a PSA about service animals. In the post, she explained that if you see a service animal without their owner, you should always follow them rather than ignoring them. “If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help,” she shared. Thankfully, her message wasn’t brushed aside!


Her post went viral on both Tumblr and Twitter, with the disabled community praising Tessa’s efforts to spread awareness. Many people without service animals were also grateful to know what to do if they ever found themselves confronted by a lone canine. Hopefully, Tessa’s PSA can help save some lives in the future!

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