Oct 292017
 
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Please join us in congratulating our advanced class on their recent success with Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Testing.  We are pleased to announce that the entire class has now passed their CGC test, the first of three skill tests on the road to becoming a certified SD.  The final group tested yesterday, and did a super job.   We are so proud of all of our students / teams:

  • Amanda and Shadow (pictured)
  • Abigail and Oliver
  • Zanna and Duke
  • Daisy and Indy
  • Pearl and Adara

We are looking forward to their continued success.

Oct 222017
 
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We all know that service dogs save lives, but at times this takes on a new meaning.  We were recently contacted by a past recipient who shared this uplifting story of how her SD saved her life….and perhaps the lives of others that day as well.

The woman, who chooses to remain anonymous, was visiting family out of town, and decided to explore the new city by taking her SD for a walk.  While walking along a man passed close by…and then without warning turned and punched her in the face, fracturing her cheekbone and knocking her to the ground.  He snatched her purse and ran, confident that he would get away.  What he failed to take into account was a phenomenon known as “intelligent disobedience“.

The FSDS trains our SDs to remain within 2 feet of the handler at all times, quietly allowing the handler to assume team leadership and make decisions.  They are also trained, as in the case of this dog, to retrieve objects for the handler.  Intelligent disobedience is said to occur when a SD behaves outside of normal rules in response to a situation where they perceive that their handler is in danger.  Though witnesses acted quickly and ran to help, the suspect would have easily gotten away as he had a good lead.

The SD acted quickly, running after the suspect and with a flying tackle knocked him to the ground, holding him at bay until the witnesses caught up and were able to restrain the attacker.  The SD then quietly backed up, retrieved the stolen purse and carried it back to his handler!  He remained at her side quietly throughout the police and ambulance response, and her subsequent hospital treatment.

The police noted that this suspect was a known violent felon, and they did indeed locate a gun on him.  They noted that if the SD had not acted quickly, the suspect would have likely gotten away, and attacked others that day, perhaps even shooting and killing someone.  They hailed the SD as a hero.

When they asked the suspect why he had targeted this woman, he reportedly replied “because she is a cripple”.  When asked if he did not notice that she had a large dog with her, he reportedly admitted that he thought SDs were supposed to sit and do nothing.  Lesson learned!

This SD was trained in the FSDS program by local teens.  Though they could not have imagined this at the time that they devoted 18 months of their lives to train the dog, through their hard work and dedication they helped to save the life of this woman and others in the community.  Never underestimate the power of a teen…or a SD.

Oct 202017
 
Gretel and Shadow

Among the many services that the FSDS provides to the community is the training and certification of facility dogs for agencies that serve crime victims, particularly child victims.  The FSDS is proud to announce that we will be providing a Level II Facility Dog to the Peoria Police Department to work in their new K9 Victim Assistance Program.

The Peoria PD will be awarded a purebred male Golden Retriever named “Shadow”, a sweet and gentle dog.  Shadow’s future handler, Detective Gretel Hopkins, is already hard at work to master all commands and knowledge necessary to build a strong working relationship with Shadow, and a firm knowledge base upon which the police department may grow it’s program.

One of the things that makes this so special is that this dog, who is expected to benefit literally thousands of crime victims and officers over the course of it’s career, is being raised by a local teen in our training program.  Amanda Van Asdall is just 15 years old and this is the third dog that she is training for the FSDS.   Her 12 year old sister, Abigail, is assisting with the training.  This is just another wonderful example of how we strive to empower youths to help change the world for the better.

Shadow, and the officer training, is being provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the police department, however funds are still needed to assist with this vital service.  To find out how you can help, contact us.

 

Sep 202017
 
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The FSDS has openings available for individuals interested in acquiring SD training skills to participate in our upcoming Nov. 2017 class.  Eligible candidates must:

  • be able to house and care for their SDIT during the 18 month training program
  • have transportation to and from classes
  • be willing to commit to the entire 18 month training program, and this includes summer session
  • be mature and responsible
  • have a genuine desire to serve your community
  • have no criminal record
  • be preferably age 15 or older, but will accept slightly younger if mature for age

Teens and adults are eligible to apply.  Students learn everything from basic obedience instruction up to and including advanced SD training skills, nutrition, grooming as well as canine FA and CPR certification.  Interested individuals may download an application packet from our website.

Sep 082017
 
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As you prepare for the arrival of this monster storm, we remind you that steps must be taken to secure the safety of yourself and your dog in advance of this disaster.

  • appropriately sized life jackets should be accessible for both team members
  • please scan all veterinary records as well as a photo of your certification badge and all certification papers for our team to a Drive so that you can access these remotely from a hand-held mobile device
  • ensure that proof of all required vaccinations, particularly rabies vaccination, are included
  • ensure that the County license tag is displayed on your dog’s collar
  • make certain that an ID collar tag with your cell phone number is displayed on the collar (avoid use of your home phone in the event that your home sustains storm damage and evacuation to a shelter becomes necessary)
  • ensure that all of your emergency contact information that is linked to a microchip is updated
  • place all of your dogs food and medications in a double-waterproofed bag to protect against water damage
  • ensure that wherever you are situated, you keep a leash on your dog at all times during the storm, as dogs can be spooked and attempt to run – you must have a firm grasp on the leash at all times
  • locate a county or Red Cross shelter in advance – Red Cross Shelters do permit SDs, you must provide proof of such:  http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness#Pet-Emergency-Plan
  • put together an emergency first aid kit for your dog, store this also in a double plastic bag to waterproof contents
  • ensure that you pack protective booties for your dog, debris that results from such a storm can present great risk for your dog to sustain paw injuries, you must keep booties on your dog in the aftermath to protect against injury
  • pack a familiar comfort item for your dog to help them stay calm
  • remain calm,  your dog will fare better if you remain calm and in charge

For those of you in the southeast who may be outside of the project path of Hurricane Irma, but potentially in the path of Hurricane Jose, now a powerful CAT 4 storm, please heed the advice above. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you.  Stay safe.

Apr 182017
 
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This morning we became aware that an individual or group located in Australia was linked to our Facebook page, using the name “Foundation for Service Dog Support, AAP”.  We wish to inform our readers that the FSDS is chartered in the state of Arizona and does not operate any satellite programs or conduct any business outside of the U.S.  We also do not operate any separate facilities or training programs outside of our AZ location.  We are unable to locate any website connected with the Facebook link.

This notice does not imply that another organization lacks any credibility as we are unable to confirm or deny this.  The intent of this notice is simply to affirm that there is no connection between this post and the FSDS.

Apr 032017
 
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If you are age 15 or older and would like to learn how to train service dogs, the FSDS SD Trainer Academy is for you.  This innovative program is open to any individual in the U.S. interested in acquiring marketable job skills as a SD trainer.  Students can earn credentials at four different levels:

  • Novice Instructor
  • Jr. Instructor
  • Sr. Instructor
  • Master Instructor

Unlike other programs that only teach obedience training, the FSDS program is a comprehensive program designed to give individuals the skills to start and maintain a training business.  We teach skills from early puppy training up to advanced service dog training skills,  teaching strategies and classroom management, nutrition, grooming, behavior, canine first aid and CPR and a host of other topics.

There are three required courses at each level that can be done online from the comfort of your home.  There is a requirement for 75 hours of hands on experience at each level that may be completed with a trainer in your area.  The Academy will open on June 1st of this year.

Contact us to request information about this program.

 

Feb 152017
 
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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Zeus, a graduate of the very first FSDS training class.  Zeus was partnered with military veteran and wounded Peoria police officer Bill Weigt.  Zeus passed away February 14th after a brief battle with cancer.

Bill and Zeus graduated from our program in 2010, and have been one of our most successful teams and beloved figures around the FSDS.  For the past 7 years, Zeus has been constantly at the side of Bill as his service dog, best friend and as Bill would say…”my son”.  From early on in his training Zeus showed exceptional patience and an affinity for service work.  He served faithfully until the end.

We know that Zeus has led a full life, filled with love and happiness.  Bill has been an exceptional handler and has provided for Zeus’ every need.  They worked together each day at the police department, took many trips and had great adventures together.  Bill also saw to it that they took time to play together.  Zeus loved to swim and play fetch and Bill was always eager to join in with him.  Please join us in sending condolences to Bill on his loss.  RIP, dear friend.

zeus and bill zeus swimming zeus1

Jan 262017
 
Duke close up

Come on out and join us at the Westbrook Village Veterans Support Club Old Car Show.  This event will be held on Feb. 26th in Westbrook Village at the Vistas Recreation Center, 18825 Country Club Parkway, Peoria, AZ.  Proceeds help support the FSDS mission to provide service dogs to wounded veterans.  Come on out to meet some of our staff and teams and have a great time at this family friendly event.

Jan 262017
 
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We are now accepting applications from individuals interested in participating in the FSDS training program.  This process is open to the following individuals:

  • individuals seeking to train a dog for their own needs
  • community members high school age or older who wish to acquire training skills by training a dog for someone else in need
  • individuals who need a service dog but are not able to train the dog for their own needs

Visit our Apply For a Dog page to learn more.