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Saving Grace: Adopted shelter dog becomes service animal for special needs child

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Every now and then a special story finds its way back to Greenville County Animal Care Services (GCACS). This is the story of a dog named Grace, who was rescued in the nick of time from the "urgents" list back in April.

Grace was like many of the dogs at the high-kill shelter. She'd been there a long time, and was passed over again and again. A tan pit bull mix, it appeared as though Grace wouldn't live to find her own forever home.

Then a miracle happened.

A mom and daughter visited the shelter, where they saw Grace and took her out of her crate. It was love at first sight, and Grace was adopted. That would be a perfect happy ending, but this story gets better.

GCACS Adoptions Counselor Lauren has kept in touch with Grace and her new family in the month since she was adopted. It's been learned Grace is now a service dog to a little girl with many disabilities. You can view their photo by clicking here.

Out of the five dogs in the forever home of this wonderful family, Grace was the dog the parents chose to be a service dog. She was the most trusted, and is very protective. At the same time, Grace is sweet and gentle with her special needs child.

The family filled out the necessary forms, and ordered Grace the service dog identification needed to make her role official. Now Grace is allowed to go wherever her human needs her to go.

Grace loves to wear her harness, and even has a life vest so she can go swimming with the family.

Grace is rather spoiled these days, and thinks she's special when she gets something new. Her new family loves her, but they fell in love with Grace the dog, not realizing that first day what an important job this "death row mutt" was about to take on.

The miracle that Grace would fall into the role of service dog has only strengthened the bond between this beautiful dog and her forever family.

There are many more dogs like Grace, sitting on death row at shelters around the country. Many shelter dogs have gone on to become service animals or therapy dogs. Some have even made the news media when the rescued pet has saved the family from death.

Take a good look at each dog the next time you visit your local shelter. You may not find a dog as special as Grace. Then again, perhaps you will.

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