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Colorado Training Facility Helps Rescues Become Service Dogs


In eastern Colorado, a transformative initiative is underway at the Leasure Ranch K9 Academy. Here, rescue dogs are given not just a second chance at life but also the opportunity to go on a new path. Michelle Abel, an experienced dog trainer, is the owner of this facility, where she trains rescue dogs to become service dogs. 

Training facility gives rescue dogs second chance at life in Colorado

Michelle Abel has been training dogs for more than three decades, as Fox 31 reports. In 2021, she began rescuing and rehabilitating wayward dogs and she partnered with Scroungy Dogs and Pretty Pups Rescue to provide training and facilitate their adoption into loving homes. 

However, the academy observed an unfortunate trend of people abandoning dogs. Consequently, Abel started training dogs arriving at their facility to fulfill roles as service animals. 

In her words, “That way, we can take them in and make them into service dogs … get them into homes and help people along with helping the dogs at the same time.” 

After a period of training service dogs, Abel had another idea. She recounted, “One of my daughter’s friends was diagnosed with celiac. Her mother dared me to teach a dog to detect gluten.” 

Abel’s daughter’s friend consumed an unsuitable snack prior to a softball practice and this made her realize the significance of a canine aiding individuals suffering from celiac disease. 

As it happens, individuals with celiac disease may experience adverse effects from even small traces of gluten. 

So, Abel began training dogs to detect gluten in food. She stated, “Anything that has gluten in it, whether it be wheat, rye, barley, or even malt, they can detect it.” 

Additionally, Abel explained how she teaches dogs to indicate whether a food is gluten-free or not. She said they sit when something is safe and lay down if it’s not. She claimed this method is simple and clear, saying, “To me, this is the clearest way. There’s no doubt.”


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