Thursday, June 4, 2009

Freedom Service Dogs & BDHPI

BDHPI is very excited to announce an incredible new relationship we have formed wtih Freedom Service Dogs!

Freedom Service Dogs is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1987 and their mission is to rescue dogs from area shelters and custom train each dog to assist a person with a disability with day to day activities providing their human companions with a greater degree of independence and an overall higher quality of life. They have recently received a number of requests for larger dogs from soldiers returning from Iraq who are too tall for the majority of dogs they currently have in their program. They have also found that the giant breeds are wonderful therapy dogs for kids with autism. FSD contacted BDHPI due to the obvious match between our organizations and our missions and I am thrilled to be able to share with you more about their program and the ways we will be able to work together!

Freedom Service Dogs custom trains all dogs in their program to be one of three (3) types of dogs: (a) certified service dog, (b) skilled companion dog or (c) social dog. FSD places dogs only in Colorado, so that they are able to provide a lifetime of hands-on support to ensure the success of the team.

Certified Service Dogs –Full service dogs retrieve and carry objects; turn lights on and off; open and close doors; find a person; find the phone; push a LifeLine or 911 button; assist with pulling a wheelchair; help with transfers; brace and counterbalance ambulatory clients; and perform specialized tasks needed by the client. Certified service dogs have complete public access.

Skilled Companion Dogs – Similar to full service dogs, skilled companion dogs perform specialized tasks as needed; retrieve thrown objects, find a person; push a LifeLine button; brace and counterbalance; stand for grooming, lie quietly when being read to; understand non-verbal commands; and provide a social bridge. Skilled companion dogs typically do not have full public access.

Social Dogs – Social dogs serve as a link to the world , a companion, a much-needed and trusted “buddy” for those suffering emotional trauma. They are easier to talk to than people, and they provide an outlet for those who are experiencing emotional or social difficulty. An example of use for social dogs includes animal assisted therapy by a licensed physical, speech, occupational, social or other therapist or placement with children with autism.

We are so excited to support this organization and think we may even have a dog or two right now who might fit this bill!

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