Welcome to the New Year!

COREY_webphotoA Message from the Board PresidentDr.  Jon Corey, PhD is a distinguished and highly decorated military veteran who served as an operations psychologist in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, primarily in Europe. Jon is a professor in psychology and has served as an adviser on a variety of projects, both private and governmental. He joined our Board to help us develop strategies for growth and community outreach. Jon is an avid dog lover and has two German Shepherds.

With the onset of another New Year, prospects for FSDS portend another great period of definitive and rewarding progress for its staff, students, and service dogs.  Reviewing 2014, there were many significant improvements in academic endeavors, financial grants and awards, and puppy selections.—and there is every reason to expect similar achievements—and more—as FSDS continues to move forward, especially with the incorporation of new students, further support, and additional resources .  FSDS has greatly benefited from the addition of new General Manager position, fulfilled by Jeannie Gambil—even more reason the FSDS Board’s optimism that 2015 will be a stellar year for FSDS…!  As the FSDS public profile becomes more salient throughout the community, the FSDS Board is ready to support more initiatives to enhance the FSDS mission—and to help ensure its graduates well represent everything for which FSDS stands…!

Classroom News


Jaymie Cardin and her SDIT Nahla put on a wonderful demonstration for parents and recipients.

Estrella Mountain Campus– our students have been working hard, and the EM class is now entering their second semester.  This month the students and their puppies will be working to master basic obedience skills.  Over the holiday break, the students and pups worked on basic commands such as “sit”, “down”, and “stay”.  This month they will work to solidify these skills, and to add such skills as “come”, “wait” and “leave it”.

Paradise Valley Campus– this month brings mixed emotions for the students, as they begin their final semester.  Along with the joy of welcoming the new recipients to the classroom comes the sad realization that their time with their SDITs is coming to an end.   The students and recipients had an opportunity to bond together at our annual holiday party in December, and if history repeats itself this is the start of some lifetime friendships.

Wellness Tip

With the holidays and the worries about the dangers of holiday decorations and food behind us, we turn our attention to some other more common tips for the health of your dog.  Flea and tick, as well as heartworm prevention is so important for every SD.  We urge all handlers to provide these preventive medications to their dogs year-round.  It is easier to prevent a problem from occurring than it is to try to clean up a mess once it has happened.  Some flea and tick medications also address the issue of mosquitoes.  Speak to your veterinarian about what is best for your dog.

Important Information for Evaluators and Certified Teams

Many thanks to those who have written and made excellent suggestions on how we can improve the re-certification process for members of our Outreach Certification Program.  Under “Certification Program” on our navigation bar, you will see a new page listed for “Re-certification”.  On this page, you will find information on how to re-certify, and there are links for the re-certification packets for both evaluators and teams.  We appreciate the input that has been so thoughtfully provided to us and will continue to use this type of feedback to deliver improved services to all of our members.

Please feel free to email us with any additional suggestions that you have for improvement.

Thank You

Dec_14Our sincere thank to our friends at Casino Arizona for their generous $2,884 grant to support an educational initiative for our students. We are grateful to Casino Arizona for their ongoing support over the past 7 years.  A special word of thanks to Linda Robles, who has served as our contact person and who over the years has expressed much support for our students.

Many thanks to Ann Holck for her generous $250 donation in honor of her granddaughter, Jaymie Cardin.  Jaymie is currently a student trainer in our youth-based program and is doing an outstanding job with her SDIT.

Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Sue Vereb for her generous donation of $100 to help us support our mission of providing service dogs to deserving Arizonans.  Sue is a retired school teacher who devoted her entire career to helping to better the lives of countless young people.  Her continued dedication to helping improve the lives of others in our community is appreciated.