Message from the Director


As you can imagine, it’s been an extremely busy time for all of us as we work toward the move-in date
at the new facility.

The good news: we are very close. Despite numerous challenges and delays around product availability
and work force shortages, we expect to move in within the next 10 days or so. The interior painting is
complete, thanks especially to the efforts of Jessica Parker and volunteers Dylan Thayer, Henry Smith,
and Charlotte Steele. We are so grateful for all you have done to get us to this point.

We anticipate the open house taking place before the end of October, so be on the lookout for an

Our heartfelt thanks, as well, to those you who have made financial contributions to support this vital
work. You are an important part of the Foundation family and we are grateful!

My best!

Classroom News

Keeta & Dani (Recipient Marissa)–  This team is coming close to graduating the program. We are now focusing on getting Dani adjusted to Marissa’s work environment at the Phoenix Police Department. Our training is going to consist of working on service skills in the workplace and ignoring distractions of others. This step has been a little challenging as Dani must learn to focus on Marissa around these new distractions  such as radios, sirens and the hustle and bustle of a busy police station.  This is over and above the usual experiences of traditional public access training.  Despite this, the team is making good progress. We are working on getting Marissa better at how to handle situations when Dani is not focusing. Practice makes perfect!

Brain & Mando are on track to graduating the program in the near future, and are at work to refine some aspects of their skills training. We look forward to good news.

Yamill & Bailey (Recipient Shannon) – this team is working a lot with taking Bailey places with lots of unfamiliar dogs. This is something in her training she is needing some additional help with, but has been making strides towards success. Shannon is at work at completing her SD 101 and is doing wonderful! Bailey is getting better at offering “touch” with a lid in public, and has been making great progress with “go get help” in different environments. Bailey is also doing well with her medical alert tasks!

Congratulations to our New Graduates

Tina and Socorro – Tina is a military veteran and has done an outstanding job in our program.  We are so proud of her achievements, and of our ability to give back to this deserving hero.

Soyini and Coco – turned in an outstanding performance on their final certification test and have earned their blue certification vest.  We are proud to honor Soyini for her military service.

Now Accepting Applications

If you are are looking to train a service dog for your needs, we are now accepting new applications for the classes which will start at our new Glendale location early next year (pending Covid response).  Inquiries can be sent to our lead trainer.

Please do not get a dog first and then contact us later…contact us first so that we may assist you in selecting the right dog for your needs.  

Looking For a Year End Tax Credit?  Tax Credit Now Available

The FSDS has been designated as a Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO) by the State of Arizona.  Our QCO code is 22372.  Donations you make between now and the end of the calendar year may be claimed by visiting the AZ Dept. of Revenue website and completing Form 352 for the current calendar year.  Individuals who donate to the FSDS are eligible to subtract the amount donated dollar for dollar from the amount owed the state, thus decreasing your tax burden.  The maximum credit allowed is $1,000 for married filing joint filers and $500 for single, heads of household, or those who are married but filing separate.

Wellness Tip

Happy Fall, y’all!  Along with the cooler weather comes thoughts of holiday decorations.  While bright, festive and cheery, these decorations can pose serious dangers to the health of your dog.  This month we provide some helpful tips on keeping your dog safe.

  1. Location, location, location!  Be certain that any decorations hung on walls are well out of the reach of your dogs.  Keep candy dishes off of low coffee or end tables, and secure them in a pantry at night so your dog does not snack on toxic “treats” while you are sleeping.
  2. Costumes – Halloween costumes should never be left on a dog unless you are present to supervise.  If you choose to deck out your dog, be certain to supervise at all times, and remember not to cover up their training vest.  Working in public, particularly for our new graduates, will be easier for both team members if the public is readily able to identify you as a legitimate team.
  3. Toxic treats – while certain foods are a real treat for us, they can be deadly for dogs.  Some of the most common foods that are toxic for dogs include chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more toxic), raising, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic and caffeine.  The safest thing to do is adopt a strict “no people food” policy for dogs.
  4. Kitchen aid – a well trained SD is with the handler at all times.  When in the kitchen cooking, remember to provide your dog with a mat so that they understand that this is their “place”.  All garbage cans should have lids so that the dog will not be tempted to go fishing.  Also remember that rising dough, if ingested, can cause intestinal blockage.  If at any time you must leave the kitchen, remember to take your dog with you!
  5. Company etiquette – if you are planning to entertain for the holidays, we recommend that this year you include a note on all invitations announcing you are partnered with a service dog.  Include some basic SD etiquette tips, such as no petting, no feeding and no distracting.  Informing your company in advance is not only good for the adults, but it also provides parents of young children the opportunity to speak with their children prior to arriving at your home so that they understand how to behave around a SD.

One more word on decorations…remember that dogs explore the world by eating things.  Crepe paper, foil decorations, stuffed items or cotton used for spider webs…these can all cause intestinal blockage if ingested.  This may result in the need for risky and costly surgery for your dog to remove the blockage.

Stay safe and have a fun start to the holiday season.

With Sincere Thanks

The FSDS wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support of our programs and mission over the past month.

  • Valerie Schluter
  • Pat Lind
  • Mr. and Mrs. Barry MacKean
  • Fry’s Community Partner Program
  • Albertson’s / Safeway Foundation

We would also like to express our deep appreciation to the volunteers who showed up to help out with painting and others tasks at the new facility:

  • Dylan Thayer
  • Henry Smith
  • Charlotte Steele

A special note of thanks to our lead trainer, Jessica Parker.  Over the past month, Jessica has cheerfully stepped up to the plate to perform “duties not otherwise specified” to assist with preparations of the new facility space.  Her positive attitude and willingness to always go above and beyond are recognized and appreciated.

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