Our pay it forward, C5BDI giveback continues! Our team recently committed resources and funding to support Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD). Thank you very much to Blaine Lafin from our team for recommending such an outstanding cause. Since 1987, FSD has graduated hundreds of client-dog teams that has unleashed the potential of the dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life-changing assistance dogs for people in need. FSD serves those who live with disabilities like autism, traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy (MD), Down syndrome, cerebral palsy (CP), spinal cord injuries, and veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTS).

As FSD expanded, its leaders recognized a need for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to have additional support as they entered civilian life, leading to the launch of Operation Freedom, a program that provides custom-trained service dogs to veterans with disabilities. Service dogs can perform a multitude of tasks that increase the independence and self-sufficiency of their human partners. People with service dogs show significant improvement psychologically, socially, and even economically—and the benefit is mutual for both human and service dog.

Highlights: How FSD Dogs benefit those in need:
✓ Retrieve adapted equipment and items from the refrigerator, find and retrieve phone
✓ Assist in pulling wheelchair and pushing handicap buttons
✓ Provide brace for transfers and enhance balance while walking or using stairs
✓ Open and close doors….turn lights on and off…go for help
✓ #SpecializedTasks: tug coat off…pull client upright…and more!

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