Message From the Director
Thanks to each of you who have reached out with encouragement and support during this relocation period. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to make some meaningful connections with family and friends. The airports were busier than ever as folks made special efforts to do just that.
You are an integral part of the FSDS family, as you know, and we look forward to seeing you drop by at the Open House on Dec. 14th from 4-7 p.m. Invitations will be coming out this week and I especially look forward to meeting so many of you that I haven’t had the opportunity to put a face with a voice and a name until now.
We anticipate having some exciting news to share with you at the Open House and to share some details about the near-term and long-term goals we have for the people we serve and their canine partners.
Thank you, once again, for being part of the FSDS family. We wish each of you the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing you soon.
PS: For your easy reference, here are some of the easy options for ways to help:
- Choose FSDS as your charity of choice on smile.amazon.com
- Choose FSDS (organization #EY153) with Fry’s at frysfood.com Fry’s Community Rewards; and link your shopper card # to us. They each donate a percentage of your and my purchases to the charity chosen.
- Check if your employer offers a matching gift program which can double the amount of support at no extra cost to you when you sign up.
- Please consider FSDS on Giving Tuesday with a gift of your choosing; and
- Remember the tax credit you can receive for gifts to FSDS as an AZ Qualifying Charitable Organization (Code 22372) at azdor.gov.
You Are Invited to Our Open House!
At long last, our new facility is opening. You are invited to join us at our Open House to tour the facility and learn more about our programs and services.
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 14th
Time: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Location: 5060 W. Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302
Keeta/Marissa & Dani this team continues to practice generalizing commands and tasks at the police station and is making great progress. Dani has demonstrated a keen ability to retrieve dropped items for Marissa no matter where she is. We are also working on strong “leave its” and “focus” when other police officers are in the room. Dani knows she is only allowed to greet other police officers when granted permission. She also is working on staying on her “Place” when Marissa needs to get up from her desk. Her medical alert tasks are coming along well, and we have added some different body languages to get Dani to respond so that she can alert Marissa. They have also done training at our new space which helps reinforce these tasks. We look forward to the day in the near future that Dani will transition to her new home with Marissa.
Yamill/Shannon & Bailey– have had two successful training sessions with Shannon & Bailey together in our new facility. Our main focus during this time is relationship building, as that is very important when placing a SDIT with a new recipient. We are starting off with simple obedience commands that Bailey knows, as Shannon practices her hands-on training working with Bailey. We have worked on some of the service skills Bailey will need to perform for Shannon such as , “Cover”, “Go get help”, and interrupting behaviors. Yamill has been working on with Bailey for some time now and has done exceptional work. We are still at work on refining medical alert tasks. Yamill is doing a great job by taking Bailey to school with him and working on these skills in different environments. Kudos to Yamill for his hard work and success. He is living proof that you are never too young to make a positive and lasting change in the lives of others.
Are You Seeking a Service Dog?
We will be opening up the application process in the very near future for our new classes, set to begin in 2022. Preference, as always, is given to military and first responders. This includes those who are retired, as well as those injured in the line of duty who are reassigned to light duty and require assistance. The new application packet will be posted shortly and will be dated no earlier than January 2022, so please do not submit an earlier version.
Looking For a Year End Tax Credit? Tax Credit Now Available
The FSDS has been designated as a Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO) by the State of Arizona. Our QCO code is 22372. Donations you make between now and the end of the calendar year may be claimed by visiting the AZ Dept. of Revenue website and completing Form 352 for the current calendar year. Individuals who donate to the FSDS are eligible to subtract the amount donated dollar for dollar from the amount owed the state, thus decreasing your tax burden. The maximum credit allowed is $1,000 for married filing joint filers and $500 for single, heads of household, or those who are married but filing separate.
Winter officially arrives later this month, and this is a wonderful time to remind all of our teams about the importance of footwear for our dogs. Working dogs, as you are aware, differ from pets. We rely on our dogs for our safety and well being, and they accompany us everywhere we go. We must protect their paws from injury.
Extreme cold can cause injuries, just as extreme heat can. In addition, parking lots are often littered with sharp rocks, chards of grass, cactus stickers and other hazards that can harm your dog. This is a good time of year to inspect your dogs booties and ensure that they are properly fitted and in good repair. Some companies, such as Muttluks and Ruffwear offer special pricing for service dogs, and for those who live with disabilities and are on a fixed income this is a significant cost savings. You can check out these offers using the links provided.
A good rule of thumb is to slip off your shoes, and place your barefoot on the pavement. If the pavement is too hot or cold for you, it is too hot or cold for your dog. Additionally, if you are required to wear shoes to enter a business, you should require the same for your dog.
Our Heartfelt Thanks
We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the following individuals / organizations for their generous support of our program in the past month.
- Valerie Schluter
- Petco Love Foundation
- Sheryl Heier
- Fry’s Community Partner Program
We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the anonymous friend who left a generous donation this past month.
From all of us here at the FSDS, we wish you a safe, happy and blessed holiday season.
Thanks to our students, as well as our lead trainer, Jessica Parker, for these beautiful photos.