Are You Prepared?

Fall has arrived, and on Nov. 6th people in many parts of the nation will set their clocks back by one hour.  We urge readers to make a few other tasks a part of the routine when setting clocks ahead or behind.  The most important of these tasks is re-visiting your emergency preparedness plan.

The time to prepare for an emergency or natural disaster is before it happens, not after.  This month we provide some practical suggestions.  We encourage readers to print this out as a list, and check off each item as it is completed.

Home readiness– make certain that your home safety issues are addressed:

  • change batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors
  • clear out dead and dried brush, trim trees to clear defensible space around your home
  • inspect electrical cords to ensure that they are not frayed or damaged
  • check lint filters in clothes dryer to ensure they are clean

Veterinary care and records – check veterinary records to ensure that your animals are up to date on all vaccines.  Remember that in some instances, you may not have enough advance warning to gather records and evacuate, so we recommend that you do the following:

  • load all veterinary records onto your Drive, if one is available with your email account: and/or
  • place all records in a folder and give it to a friend or family member who can access these for you if needed
  • keep all medications in one convenient location so that if time permits, you can pack them quickly

Evacuation plan– make certain that at a minimum, your plan includes the following:

  • a plan for how to evacuate, if needed; make certain that you have a plan for how to evacuate animals from above ground level if you reside in a multi-story dwelling.  A crate or carrier that can contain your animal is preferred and it should fit through the window or opening that you plan to use for evacuation.  A rope or similar device to lower the crate should be available; suggest a rope ladder or similar device to evacuate humans.
  • a plan for where family members should meet if an evacuation is needed
  • information on shelters that will house pets
  • contact Red Cross or local shelters to learn about their rules in your region for housing SDs

Classroom News

Community-based (CB) 6 – with the public access testing behind them, our teams are hard at work on advanced SD skills and gaining experience in different situations in public.  Special thanks to Grace Ganahl, Sharon and Lanitta Richter and Cindy and Samantha Aguilar and all of their SDITs for their appearance at the recent Puppy Shower held by Bard PV.  A good time was had by all. We would also like to recognize Amanda VanAsdall who was awarded her perfect attendance pin this past month…good work!

Scott_Bigby_FrankCongratulations are in order for wounded Phoenix police detective Scott Sefranka and his newly certified dog Bigby.  Scott and Bigby have trained with the FSDS for the past 18 months, and this past month they successfully passed their certification test.  Scott suffered a near fatal shooting injury on Dec. 31, 2013.  It has been a long road to recovery, but today he and Bigby are enjoying success and independence.  Scott has joined the Board of Directors and currently serves as Board Treasurer.

CB7 class– our new class of students are hard at work learning about the important of being leaders to their pups, and laying a foundation for tasks such as “sit” and “down”.  We would like to recognize Zanna Fehr for her generous donations to help out her classmates in training. Zanna donated a large puppy gate and a series of dog food bags for the other teams in the morning class. We would also like to recognize military veterans and family members Dennis Metzler and Samantha Aguilar who have earned their academic achievement pins for outstanding performance.

Congratulations to Tom Linton and Charlie

P1020191On October 28th, our very own Tom Linton was inducted into the AZ Veteran’s Hall of Fame.  Tom served in the Marines and retired as a Gunnery Sgt. in 1973.  He has provided over 1,750 of volunteer service hours at the Phoenix VA Hospital, and has been an ambassador for the FSDS for the past several years.  He serves as Treasurer for DAV and has provided transportation for over 100,000 veterans to the VA hospital for care.  Tom epitomizes what it means to be a true hero.  Tom received his SD “Charlie” at no cost from the FSDS, and it is such an honor for us to have Tom and Charlie as such a big part of our program.

Upcoming Events

10/29 – VET Fest in Avondale – 410 E. Western Ave, Avondale between Litchfield Rd and 3rd St, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
11/3 – Bard PV Health & Wellness Fair
12/3 – FSDS Holiday Party

A Very Special Thank You to…

  • Del E. Webb Foundation for their generous grant to support our training program
  • Bard PV and Rob Schwemer for hosting a tremendously successful puppy shower
  • Peoria PD and Lisa Mattox for allowing us the privilege of participating once again at the G.A.I.N Event
  • Phyllis Davis and the Best Friends Dog Club for their invitation to help educate club members on SD issues

…and the following individuals for their very generous contributions to the FSDS –

  • Carrie Curvin
  • Angie Padgitt
  • Valerie Schluter
  • Diane C. Stamp

Wellness Tip

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is almost here.  As you prepare for the holidays and guests, remember to take a few extra precautions to safeguard our dogs:

  • When invited to a holiday gathering, remember to call the host in advance and let them know you will be arriving with a SD.  Let them know about “no pet” rules so that they can share this information in advance with other guest- particularly those who may bring small children with them.
  • Keep all candy and nut dishes off of coffee and end tables and out of the reach of animals.  Remember that though dogs can not jump to high places- a cat can.  If you have a cat- consider placing all dishes that contain snacks inside of the pantry at night so that they are not knocked over, giving access to these foods to your dog.
  • Ensure that all garbage cans that may contain bones and scraps of your feast are covered so that your dog does not eat bones or other foods that can harm them.

Photo Gallery

Bard PV Shower Oct 2016 Bigby CPR Demo FSDS_GAIN4 FSDS_GAIN5 Sharon20161014_090223Aguilar_ArkaiDennisIMG_5004