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Licensing your service dog – this is a responsibility for all service dog handlers, and ensuring that your tag is current is critical.  If at any time your FSDS certified service dog tag expires, then your certification is automatically suspended until the situation is corrected.  Adhering to all local, state and federal laws is something that we take seriously.  If an issue arises and you request assistance in advocacy from the FSDS, you will first be required to produce proof that vaccination and licensing is current.

Under AZ law, a county may not charge a license fee for any SD or SDIT.  That said, each county has the authority to create their own process for vetting teams to ensure that they are indeed a credible team.  It is important that each handler become familiar with the rules in your county.  We encourage every team to register their team with their county as a certified SD team.  If you reside out of state, we advise you to contact your county animal control for assistance.

Contact information for AZ counties below:

  • Apache County – this county does not oversee licensing for dogs.  If you reside in this county, you will need to contact the office of the city manager for the city you reside in for assistance
  • Cochise County – does not require animal licenses.  For more information, please call 520-432-9500
  • Coconino County – Animal Care and Control 928-679-8756
  • Gila County – at this time they are still exploring a formal process to properly vet SDs.  928-425-5882
  • Graham County – Animal Control 928-348-6676; hours are M-F 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
  • La Paz County – Animal Control Offices are in Parker, AZ and phone numbers are: 928-669-8874 and 928-669-2264
  • Maricopa County – in Maricopa County you will have to request a copy of the SD Declaration Form, and submit this along with your request.  602-506-7387
  • Mohave County – Kingman AZ; Dog licenses are obtained through the City Clerk’s office at 310 N. Fourth St.; Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except holidays; 928-753-2191 and ask for Animal Control
  • Navajo Countyvisit their website
  • Pima County  – SD handlers will need to sign a Declaration page to verify that their dog is a SD to have the fee waived; 520-724-5900
  • Pinal County – contact animal control at 520-509-3555
  • Santa Cruz County – 520-761-7860; must call for SD license fee to be waived
  • Yavapai County –  you will need to request a SD Declaration Packet, and will be required to provide proof of vaccination, training and/or certification to prove that your team has been properly trained and able to perform their duties safely.  928-771-3260
  • Yuma County – licensing is addressed through the Humane Society of Yuma; for more info call: 928-782-1621

Classroom News

CB8 Beginner Class is putting the finishing touches on their basic obedience training. They have been out and about in public practicing working with distractions, and at the same time raising awareness about service dogs in public.

CB7 Advanced Class – it is hard to believe that 18 months have flown by, and on the 14th of this month this hard working and successful group of students will officially certify as working service dog teams.   Just one final hurdle, and that is the FSDS Certification Test that will be administered early in the month, and based on performance to date we anticipate greatness from all of our teams.

Workforce Development Opportunities

We recognize that for the many individuals who undergo proper training and certification, locating employment afterwards with your SD may be difficult.  For those of you who wish to give back to others by learning to train SDs, hope is on the horizon.  Remember that this is one job where you will always be welcome with your SD.

For those of you who may not have disabilities, but have always wanted to learn how to train SDs but lack funding to receive training, hope is on the horizon.

The FSDS hash recently built bridges with the Workforce Solutions Program.  This program provides assistance with tuition for vocational training, and the FSDS SD Trainer Academy has been deemed qualified as a vocational program.

Eligibility requirements for the FSDS and Workforce Solution Program are:

  1. 14-21 yrs (In school youth: those who are attending a high school/college/enrolled and waiting to attend classes)
  2. 16-24 (out of school youth: those who are drop outs/have not attended any school for a while/not attending any school/college/not enrolled in any college/just graduated from high school/are in GED classes/are enrolled in Job Corps program)
  3. Must have a Phoenix AZ address
  4. Low income family (LLSIL Doc for Workforce Solutions Eligibility 2018) Youth from families receiving food stamps or on Access automatically qualify
  5. Pregnant or parenting youth
  6. Unemployed individuals
  7. English language learners
  8. Individuals with a disability
  9. Individuals with low levels of literacy
  10. Veteran or spouse of veterans are given first priority

Additional FSDS requirements are:

  1. US Citizen
  2. AZ resident and able to attend weekly classes
  3. No criminal background, as we work with vulnerable populations
  4. Must be able to take dog into your home to raise a dog throughout as a part of the program

If you are interested in learning about whether you may qualify for financial assistance, contact us.

Wellness / Safety Tip

We strongly recommend that all SD handlers have a microchip placed on their dog, and that they register their dog / microchip with a reputable petfinder service.  Some chip manufacturers, such as Home Again or PetLink offer services, or you may elect to contact the AKC to learn more about their Reunite Program.  Whatever your decision, remember that the time to protect your dog in the event of emergency is before a problem arises, not after.

Thank You

Our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported our program during the month of March:

  • Valerie Schluter
  • Glenda and Jimmie Montgomery
  • James and Deborah Curcio
  • Martin and Judith Lloyd
  • Stan VanPeursem
  • Thomas and Lois Smith
  • Westbrook Village Veterans Support Club
  • Leolinda Bowers
  • Sundt Foundation

Essay Contest: SD Trainer Academy Scholarship to be Awarded to Winner

We are pleased to announce that the FSDS will hold it’s first ever essay writing contest, with the prize to be a full scholarship to the SD Trainer Academy.  This scholarship is valued at $3,000.  The scholarship monies were a generous donation from Dr. Margaret Brown, in loving memory of her husbands first SD “Dorjee”.

Applicants must submit an essay that is between 2,000-2,500 words and answers the following questions:

  • Why do you wish to become a SD trainer?
  • Why do you wish to work with the disability community?
  • What qualities do you possess that make you a good candidate for this program?
  • In what type of setting do you see yourself working in 5 years?  10 years?
  • What type of personal connection, if any, do you have to the military and first response community?

Applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be a permanent resident of AZ for at least one year
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be interested in SD training as a career path
  • have no history of felony conviction or pending charges
  • have no history of illicit substance abuse
  • be willing to obtain a fingerprint clearance card
  • be willing to remain with the FSDS for at least 2 years after graduation

Applications will be accepted between Feb. 1 and April 30th.  The winner will be announced in late May.  Essays must be:

  • neatly typed
  • 12 point font
  • standard 1″ margins
  • fall within the word count ranges specified above; those that fall below or above the word count requirements will not be considered.

Please include a cover page with your essay with the following information:

  • Name and contact information (email and phone)
  • Mailing address
  • DOB
  • Place of birth

You Are Cordially Invited…

This year, in recognition of our 10th anniversary of service to AZ, the FSDS will hold graduation as a free event, open to the public.  In past years, we had held graduation at a lovely venue, with a catered meal to celebrate the success of our teams.  This year, we have opted for a different approach.  We much prefer to hold this very special occasion, a combined graduation and birthday party, as an outdoor free event open to the public.  Our rationale is that we would much prefer to each cake from a paper plate with all of our friends and supporters at our side, than to eat a catered meal with a select few in attendance.  10 years of service is a milestone not only for the FSDS, but for the entire community without whose support this day would not have been possible.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker will be Chief Roy Minter from  the Peoria PD.   Many thanks to Michael and Priscilla at the Silver Rose Bakery in Peoria AZ for offering to donate a very special custom cake for the event.

A few other surprises have been planned for the event.  The Event will be held:

Date:  Saturday, April 14th at 11:00 a.m.

Location: Centennial Plaza, 9875 N 85th Ave in Peoria, Arizona

We look forward to seeing all of our friends there.

Upcoming Events

April 14th– FSDS Graduation and Anniversary Party – 11:00 a.m. at Centennial Plaza, located at 9875N. 85th Ave, Peoria AZ.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please note that this event was originally scheduled for March 24th and has been rescheduled to allow for participation by some key recipients.

Photo Gallery

This past month our teams had a super time at the Golf Tournament hosted by the Armed Forces Support Group of Sun City Grand.   Each year, AFSG donates monies from this wonderful event to help support the FSDS mission of providing service dogs to military veterans.

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