A Message from the Director

Please enjoy these pictures of the build-out of our new space. We anticipate moving in before mid-September and look forward to inviting our supporters to an open house to celebrate.

Thank you for your response to my earlier request by signing up with Albertsons/Safeway, Fry’s, and AmazonSmile to benefit FSDS through your everyday purchases. It’s making a positive impact in supporting individuals with disabilities across Arizona and beyond. Our heartfelt thanks on their behalf.

We also expect to have some exciting news to share with you soon about a new partnership that will have far-reaching impact on improving the lives of Service Dog teams.

In the meantime, please continue to remember FSDS when making your charitable giving decisions. This vital work continues only as a result of your generosity and caring. We couldn’t do it without you.

My best!

Congratulations to our Newly Graduated Teams!

We are pleased to announce that several teams have successfully completed all requirements for graduation and have earned their certification vests.  These requirements include but are not limited to didactic training, a requisite 180 hours of classroom training and mandatory field trip experiences.  We are so proud of all of them for their hard work, and for achieving this important milestone.

Our list of new Certified teams includes:

  • Henry and Solomon
  • Celia and Caroline
  • Tesia and Scooby (and Deanna)
  • John and Simari

Classroom News

Keeta & Dani (Recipient Marissa)-  This team is coming close to graduating the program now that Marissa has completed for canine FA & CPR! 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. In the next couple of weeks this team will be ready to graduate!  We are proud to serve brave officers such as Marissa who have risked their lives for our sake, and continue to serve even after sustaining serious line of duty injuries.

Brain & Mando continue to do outstanding work with their skills training. This team is still hard at work with taking SDIT Mando to different environments and also the same environments to work hard on their service skills. Kudos to Brian for successfully completing his canine FA&CPR certification this past month.  They are now entering their final preparation for their certification test.

Tina & Socorro are on track to graduate in the near future.  Tina successfully completed her canine FA & CPR certification this past month.  While the main focus is to have Socorro alert Tina to sounds in the home, she has also been working on retrieving dropped items.  This team has required some more intensive cross training due to the nature of the injuries Tina sustained during her years of military service, yet they are progressing well and we look forward to their graduation in the near future.

Soyini & Coco are making final preparations for their certification test! Coco has been doing great with her service skills, especially in different environments other than the home. Coco has been doing great with retrieving her “get help” item when taking it to the person she is supposed to lead back to Soyini. We are very pleased with how hard this team is working and while they continue to practice we will be getting them ready to graduate this month!

Yamill & Bailey (Recipient Shannon) – this team was matched with their recipient this past month, and Yamill is hard at work to understand Shannon’s needs and help fine tune the training of Bailey.  He is making an effort to increase exposure to environments that Shannon is likely to encounter once matched, and help Bailey to work with distractions.  Transitioning leadership and helping Bailey to follow commands from his new recipient is also underway, and Yamill has done a stellar job.

Tax Credit 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

Fall arrives at the end of this month, and with the weather cooling down it is a great time to get outdoors and play with your dog.  This month we provide some practical tips for safe play.

  1. Size – if the toy is small enough to be dropped down the center of a roll of toilet paper, it is too small.  Small toys can become lodged in the airway and cause a choking hazard for your dog.  This rule also pertains to any pieces of toys (including squeakers) that can be detached, or easily chewed off.  Plush toys must also be avoided as the filling can cause intestinal blockage if ingested.
  2. Storage – if you have an in-ground pool, remember never to leave toys floating in the water.  These can be a temptation for a dog, and drownings can occur.  Always remove toys from the pool, and remember to supervise your dog around water at all times.  Providing your dog with a properly fitted life jacket for use in the pool is also a great idea.
  3. Cleaning – toys should be able to be cleaned after use.  Here in the desert SW, fungal spores that can cause Valley Fever abound, and if your dog inhales these spores they can become ill.  Make certain that you rinse your dogs toys under a faucet after use.
  4. Yard upkeep – this is a great time to clean out any piles of leaves, tumbleweed or other debris that may have blown around in the monsoons or summer storms where you live.  These piles can become hiding places for snakes, venomous spiders and other unwanted critters.  Be on the lookout for mushrooms, that can cause illness if ingested.
  5. Fencing – make certain that your yard is secured so that you dog can not get out, and unwanted visitors such as coyotes, Javelina, mountain lions, skunks, raccoons, aggressive dogs or other animals can not get in.

Finally, microchip your dog and register the chip!  If your dog should get out of the yard and get lost, a microchip as well as a collar ID tag with both your cell phone# on it will help you to reunite with your dog.

With Sincere Thanks

We wish to send our sincere thanks to the following individuals who have supported our program and mission over the past month.

  • Valerie Schluter
  • amazon.smile
  • Network for Good

Photo Gallery

We appreciate your patience while we install our new computer system.  More photos to follow.