Metrocenter Mall Closing
In late June, the Metrocenter announced that they will shut down their mall permanently to all businesses. We were informed that the last day of business would be June 30th. This late move effectively displaced all businesses.
The FSDS facility was located inside of the mall, and had not yet reopened due to the alarming spike in coronavirus cases. In the final analysis, while this will be costly in terms of time and money in the short term, given our ability to continue training via Facetime it has caused limited, if any, disruption to our ability to serve our students.
We will be on the lookout for a new home once the number of cases of coronavirus has decreased and it is deemed safe to do so. We wish to express our appreciation for the outpouring of support we have seen during this time.
In Sept. 2009 the FSDS launched our unique Outreach Program. The purpose of this program was to bring credible training and certification to underserved areas, and to address issues of reciprocity for our certified teams.
Rural and remote areas are inherently disadvantaged with regard to SD training. Certification is typically granted by a credible program, and not individual trainers. Since most programs operate as non-profits, they tend to be centered in or around metropolitan areas with a population of donors ample to support services. We were concerned early on that individuals with disabilities who resided in rural areas lacked geographic access to a credible program. Many individuals with disabilities are also unable to manage the long drive that would be required on a weekly basis to attend training.
Reciprocity was also identified as an urgent need. Those teams who do certify with a program, and must relocate either for employment or to be closer to family for assistance, are unable to re-test every three years as required and therefore their certifications expire. Though a certification is not required under law, it is beneficial in many circumstances and therefore worthy of address.
The FSDS has built a team of carefully selected and qualified trainers, and admitted them to our network. Evaluators must provide proof of credentialing and experience, and pass a screening test. They are then granted permission to administer our certification test to teams they have trained, or FSDS teams who have relocated and need to retest every three years. These Evaluators agree provide the testing at an affordable and capped cost. Each Evaluator pays a modest fee every three years that is equivalent to the cost of administering just one test, thus the cost of joining the network is easily recuperated. The names of our trainers / Evaluators are listed on our site, providing for low cost marketing and referrals. This network has grown over the years and is nearing completion of the 11th year of operation.
If you are an experienced dog trainer and interested in increasing your marketability and joining our network, please contact us for further information. Information on this program is also available on our website.
As many of you are aware, the Coronavirus cases in AZ have demonstrated an alarming spike. We continue to monitor the situation closely. Until such time as we are able to assure the health and safety of our staff and students, our facility doors will remain closed. Our training continues via private Facetime lessons during this time.
If you have questions about our training program, or wish to apply for our wait list for the next training class, please contact our lead trainer, Jessica Parker.
Please join us in congratulating our newest certified team. Nicole Joy (mother) has been hard at work to help train a SD for her beautiful daughter, Maiden. Over the past year and a half they have been model students and have both been very involved in the process. This past month, they passed the certification test along with their dog “Dakota” with flying colors. We are so proud of their accomplishments. This is one of our First Responder families who have received their training at no out-of-pocket cost as part of our commitment to this population. Kudos to this hard working team for a job well done!
Miriam has been a nurse for over 50 years. Her long and successful career includes helping to start several non-profits, with the FSDS being the most recent. Miriam has served the FSDS in many capacities, including business advisor and Outreach / Certification Manager. She has also managed Human Resources and Accounts Payable.
Her retirement announcement comes after a long battle with chronic illness, and placement on hospice care. She is truly an individual who embodies what it means to be a dedicated community servant, and will leave the world a better place than she found it. Her presence at the FSDS will forever be felt. Our prayers are with her.
Welcome to our Newest Outreach Evaluator
A warm welcome to our newest Outreach Evaluator, Pamela Molina, from San Antonio, TX. Pamela is a military veteran, and served in the US Marine Corps. She is a certified in canine training as well as advanced canine first aid. She is also a CGC Evaluator with the American Kennel Club. We are pleased to welcome Pamela to our network.
Summer officially arrived last month, and along with the hot temperatures comes an increased risk of bites and stings for your dog. This month we focus on scorpion stings.
As a general rule, the smaller the scorpion, the more toxic the venom. A scorpion sting can be painful and will be felt by the dog. Your dog will likely yelp to let you know s/he has been bitten. Signs and symptoms of a scorpion sting include:
- pain at the site of the sting
- drooling and trouble swallowing
- difficulty breathing
- muscle tremors
- dilated pupils
- loss of bladder and/or bowel control
First aid for a scorpion sting includes:
- remove yourself and your dog from danger
- contact your veterinarian immediately
- attempt gentle removal of the stinger with the edge of a credit card, do not use tweezers
- gently cleanse the affected area with mild soap and warm water
- keep the dog quiet and reassured; stress travels down the leash
Transport the dog to the veterinary clinic according to the instructions provided by your veterinarian.
We wish to thank the following for their generous program support in the past month.
- Subaru Foundation of America
- Amazon Smile
- Fry’s Community Rewards Program
- Frances and John Wahl Foundation