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Scent-detection dogs help kids with food allergies

Dogs can help kids with food allergies

Safety Harbor's Florida Canine Academy, known for its scent detection training, is helping children attend school who previously could not because of severe food allergies.

The academy is training scent-detection dogs as companions for these children.

A trained dog would alert the child and family members to the presence of dangerous allergens, preventing a potential life-threatening situation for the child.

The alert by the dog is to "sit and point" with its nose to the danger — the same indication used by explosive detection dogs.

In addition to detecting allergens, dogs trained by master trainer Bill Whitstine root out a variety of targets, including mold, bed bugs and snakes. One, Florida's first arson detection dog, helped in the prosecution of an arsonist.

The American Disabilities Act is including these trained assistance dogs with the already-recognized seizure, hearing and vision service dogs.

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Seminars, classes, support groups

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS MEETINGS: 10:15 a.m. Mondays at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road, Palm Harbor; 11 a.m. Thursdays, First Presbyterian Church, 455 Scotland St., Dunedin; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 7:30 and 10 a.m. Saturdays at Palm Harbor Presbyterian Church, 2021 Nebraska Ave.; and 2 p.m. Saturdays at the Dry Dock, 1733 Alt. U.S. 19, Tarpon Springs. Visit or call (727) 327-4555.

RECOVERY INC., SUPPORT GROUP FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 N Highland Ave., Clearwater; and 1 p.m. Mondays at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 813 Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 525-1749.

TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY): 9 to 10 a.m. weigh-in, 10 to 11 a.m. meeting every Thursday at United Methodist Church, 1025 Union St., Clearwater. Call Beulah Little at (727) 461-7101. There is a fee for this class.

HEAD AND NECK CANCER SUPPORT GROUP: 7 p.m. Monday, Bardmoor Outpatient & Surgery Center, Administration Conference Room, 12780 Race Track Road, Tampa. Call (727) 547-5522.

BIRTH CENTER TOUR: 5:15, 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sarah Walker Women's Center, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500.

NEWBORN CARE: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Mease Countryside Hospital, meeting rooms 4 and 5, 3231 McMullen-Booth Road, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.

PRENATAL YOGA: 5:45 p.m. every Tuesday, Sarah Walker Women's Center, second floor, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500.

CPAP/BI-PAP CLINIC: 10 a.m. every Tuesday, Mease Countryside Hospital Medical Arts Building, 1840 Mease Drive, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.

CPAP/BI-PAP CLINIC: 9 a.m. every Wednesday, Bardmoor Medical Arts Building, Suite 210, 8839 Bryan Dairy Road, Largo, (727) 462-7500.

Scent-detection dogs help kids with food allergies 12/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 4:07pm]
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