Message from the Executive Director

It’s an understatement, I realize, to say that much has changed in our society and in our world over the past couple of years.  And that’s true in many of your cases, especially as we think about how our own individual lives have changed.  We can point to changes in our workplace, our social exchanges, family dynamics, health issues, and in how we notice what captures our thinking and attitude about these things.

It makes it all the more important to tell you how much your encouragement, generosity and thoughtfulness means to each of here at FSDS.  Our gratitude is ongoing and our hopes for the people we serve ever-present.

You help us in so many ways and we don’t take it for granted.   This work does not continue if not for you!  Thank you!

As you consider your own reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving season, please know that you are at the top of the FSDS “Gratitude List.”  For each of the donors who give of their own hard-earned income; for the students who are training their own service dogs; volunteers who are raising future Service Dogs for someone else; interns and apprentices who are learning to become future certified dog trainers; our graduates who’ve gained “A New Leash on Life” – we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings and every blessing this holiday season.




Additional ways you can help:

  • Choose The Foundation for Service Dog Support as your charity of choice on
  • Link your shopper card # to The Foundation for Service Dog Support (Org #EY153) with Fry’s Community Rewards at



Wellness Tip 

The holiday season is officially upon us, and this month we explore some hazards with holiday decorations, and things that you can do to keep your animals safe.

Plants – while plants such as mistletoe and poinsettias make attractive gifts and decorations, they can be hazardous to animals.

Tinsel and ribbon – these can present a danger of intestinal obstruction, particularly in small dogs and cats.  Linear objects such as this can become wrapped around the base of the tongue and cause obstruction, and emergency surgery to remove the obstruction may be required.  Tree tinsel and wrapped packages must be supervised as well

Batteries – toys that require batteries, particularly button batteries must be kept out of the reach of your animals.

Tree lights – if chewed, strings of lights can pose a risk of electrocution to your animal.

Trees – if you have a live tree and add aspirin or any other additive to the water to help preserve the tree, this can lead to a risk of poisoning to your pet if they drink the water.

Sweaters – be certain to supervise your animal if you place a sweater on them to ensure that they do not chew it.  Chewing on a sweater results in loose strings, which if ingested can pose the same risk as discussed above for tinsel or ribbon.

Tree ornaments – glass ornaments, if chewed, can damage the mouth or intestinal tract.  Old-fashioned bubble lights can contain small amounts of methylene chloride and can be toxic.  The metal hangers used to attach the ornaments to the tree can cause perforation of the intestines if swallowed.

Candles – one word…DON’T!  Candles can be accidentally knocked over by dogs who counter surf, or cats who are able to jump up on the counter.  Each year in the U.S. approximately 15,000 house fires are caused by candles.

Snow spray – can contain small amounts of methylene chloride or acetone.  This can be toxic to animals and can cause GI irritation.

Potpourri – while this can add a pleasant aroma to your home, these oils can cause chemical irritation to your animal.  The smaller the animal, the more pronounced the effects.

Remember to keep holiday treats and candy/nut dishes out of the reach of your animals and secured in a pantry overnight.




Classroom news 

October was an exciting month for our students and for us. We went on a few field trips past which was great to get our Service Dogs In Training (SDIT) generalized to different environments that were very busy outings with lots of distractions. As we continue to work on the commands we went over last month, we have also introduced a few new things:

  • Emergency stop
  • Deliver Items (toys right now)
  • Red light, green light game (impulse control)
  • Touch with a target on the wall (a lid or sticky note)
  • Place adding distractions

With us now working on public appropriateness training and the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) prepping, the students have been working with their SDIT outside of class to practice the things that are on the test(s).  The dogs have been performing substantially well.

The teams joined us at the Peoria Public Safety GAIN event along with Barktoberfest in Gilbert and they all did a wonderful job working on the dogs sitting nicely for petting, leave-its, heeling, and reactions to unfamiliar dogs! The teams also worked on the commands we have taught the dogs in class in those distracting environments such as crowd control, cover, touch and more!

We also took a field trip to Cabela’s to work on exposure training and the teams did outstanding work.

We are looking forward to our next event this month at StonePoint Community Church Resource Event along with our new set of Service Dog Training classes starting November 5th from 1pm-4pm


Beginner class Highlights


Tom/Sharon & Ruby- Ruby has mastered her sitting nicely for petting along with achieving her DPT (deep pressure therapy) and pawing on the leg when asked. 

Charlotte & Luna– Luna has successfully accomplished DPT on her handler and will stay there for however long her handler needs her too and has also mastered her Paw command.

Kerry/Jase & Sadie– Sadie has mastered her off lead heeling exceptionally well. She has also mastered her crowd control without needing to be lured.

Scott & Luna– Luna has been performing really well with her crowd control and her center command. She has also mastered backing up at heel side and in front.


With Appreciation

Our heartfelt thanks to these supporters for your generosity and encouragement:

Scott Petersen
Lorena Perez
Tim Ganahl
Carla Cacerees
Tory Booth
Latrice Anderson
James Gillespie
William Feallock

Monthly Donors:

Valerie Schluter
Todd Johnson
Timothy Glenn

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