Cat named D-O-G readies canines to assist those in need

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A cat with an unlikely name has an important job at a training center for dogs.

Support Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis took in the black-and-white cat over the summer and named him D-O-G (dee-OH’-jee). He’s more than a mascot — officials say he plays a key role getting the dogs comfortable around other animals. Assistance dogs need to be well-behaved and not be distracted in their job helping people who are deaf or have mobility problems.

Support Dogs president and CEO Anne Klein says D-O-G is “fearless” around the larger canines and plays with their tails, sleeps in their beds and eats and drinks from their bowls instead of his own.

The dogs go through two years of training before going to clients for free.