Message from the Executive Director

It doesn’t seem possible that we are already preparing to graduate our first class of students since COVID this December.  The students have worked so hard, both canine and human, and are excited to see this goal achieved.

As you can imagine, the Fall weather has permitted many more outside training sessions, and we are taking advantage of it at every class opportunity.

Please know that we could not have completed this task without your support and encouragement along the way.

With heartfelt thanks and best wishes for your happiest Thanksgiving to-date.




Ways you can help:

  1. Choose FSDS (organization #EY153) with Fry’s at Fry’s Community Rewards; and link your shopper card # to us.  They each donate a percentage of yours and my purchases to the charity chosen.
  2. 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.
  3. 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


A gift of these below can help provide the following:

  • $35 Flea and tick prevention medication for 3 months
  • $70 Heartworm prevention medication for 6 months
  • $150 Service dog vest for 6 students
  • $250 Tuition for the required online course
  • $400 Prevention medications for flea, tick and heartworm for the complete course
  • $1,000 Scholarships for the required online course 4 students
  • $2,500 Scholarship that covers Apprenticeship complete online course requirement.
  • $5,000 is a 50% scholarship for qualified low-income students.
  • $10,000 for 1 Service Dog Team


Wellness Tips

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and friends, so please do not forget your 4-legged best friend.  Toys and treats are great gifts for your dog, but remember the following tips:

  1. Do not use human food as treats, some foods can be highly toxic for dogs.
  2. Avoid rawhide treats.
  3. If a toy is small enough to be dropped through the center of a roll of toilet paper, it is too small and can become a choking hazard.
  4. Avoid squeaker and plush toys as these can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

Remember to keep a lid on your kitchen garbage can so that your dog does not scavenge for scraps that might harm them.  Also avoid treating your dog with bones from a turkey or other meat.  Bones can have sharp ends if chewed and can lodge in the soft palate causing significant injury.

Also remember that on the first of each month you should change your dog’s toothbrush and provide flea/tick and heartworm treatments.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.


Classroom News

As the Holidays are approaching our students will be ending the year with their fully trained Service Dogs and will become a Certified Service Dog Team for the next 3 years! What a great way to end the year and start of a new. 18 months has flown by, and our students have worked so hard to get to this point and we are so grateful we had the opportunity to help these individuals have A New Leash On Life!

Next month most of our teams in training will be taking their Certification test and will be graduated from our program. This month we are focusing on the service tasks the dog must perform for their handler. The dogs will have to perform 3 tasks on the test and some of those tasks include but not limited:

  • Retrieve dropped items
  • Retrieve medication
  • Interrupt harmful behavior
  • Tactile stimulation, i.e.: pawing, nudging, licking
  • Go find help
  • Deep pressure therapy
  • Carry items
  • Counterbalance
  • Turning lights off/on;
  • Watch my back (Block)
  • Crowd control
  • Bracing


We couldn’t be more thrilled for our teams making it to the end of their training and we look forward to next month and their accomplishments!