Kia chills at WFIR. Photo: Clark Palmer

There is a big reason that when you see a service dog out in public, they wear vests that say in large letters “do not pet”. Roanoke-based St. Francis Service Dogs says petting a dog as it helps a person with disabilities serves as a distraction to its primary mission — and becomes a reward for turning its attention away from that mission. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

Roanoke-based Saint Francis Service Dogs trains dogs to serve as life partners to people with disabilities — and to help them live more independent lives. What you may not realize is how much time and work it takes to make that happen. Executive Director Cabell Youell — and special guest, service dog Kia — joined us live Friday on the Roanoke Valley’s Morning News. Here is the full conversation: