Aimee Copeland to raise money for service dogs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Aimee Copeland to raise money for service dogs

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Aimee Copeland and her new service dog, Belle, have only spent a few weeks together, but in that short time they've forged a bond that's inseparable.

"Belle is extremely important to me," Copeland said.

Copeland lost her hands, feet and a leg to a flesh-eating bacteria after a gash opened on her leg when she fell from a zipline in the spring of 2012.

Since then the simple things most people take for granted can present major obstacles.

"If I'm out in public and I drop something, my keys on the ground, I'm not going to be stranded  trying to wave people down," Copeland said.

Copeland got the 15-month-old lab-poodle mix through a program called paws of mind, run by the PSD Academy and Registry.

Each year the group provides thousands of service dogs to emotionally or physically challenged people, without charging a cent.

"It's such a wonderful cause," Copeland said.

But it can be an expensive cause for the group, costing thousands of dollars just to train one service dog.

Copeland is helping to raise money, selling T-shirts and helping organize paws for Aimee, a 5-K run on Oct. 12  at Little Tallapoosa Park in Carrollton.

Copeland wants to help the people who helped her so they can better help others.

"The dog is caring for you in a way. It's kind of neat and makes life for people with disabilities lot easier," Copeland said.

For more information on the fundraiser log onto

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