A local woman won an award at the Ms. Wheelchair America competition this month.
30 women competed virtually in the pageant across the United States.
Jessica Gardner a 2004 graduate of Somerset High School represented Pennsylvania and won the Outstanding Speech Award for her message on service dog fraud.
She says that’s when someone takes their pet and misrepresents them as a service dog in order to gain entry into enter public places.
Jessica said that fraud could put her service dog, 7-year-old Ford from Canine Companions, in danger.
“If Ford would get attacked by a dog in public, there’s a high possibility that he would have to retire,” she said.
“That means I would no longer have my independence and my lifeline. I often refer to ford as my angel with wings. He truly is.”