We unleash the potential of shelter dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life-changing assistance dogs for people in need.


Meet Zipper, one of the youngest members of the FSD family! This little guy is an adorable chocolate labrador puppy who was generously donated to FSD by a private breeder in hopes that he would one day grow up to be an amazing service dog. It’s not too often that we have puppies, as our dogs generally come from shelters and rescue groups, and are between one and two years old. From time-to-time, puppies are donated to FSD and partnered with volunteer puppy raisers until they are about one year old. They are then evaluated – just like any other dog that enters our program – to ensure they meet our medical and behavioral criteria. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Zipper will choose the path to become a service dog!

Zipper at 15 weeks, 15 pounds, 15 inches high!

For the next two years, we’re teaming up with FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers: Serving Those Who Serve to document what it takes to raise a puppy to eventually be a service dog — the kind that is invaluable to veterans in need. Zipper will be making TV appearances every Wednesday and will be posting about his progress on Twitter @ZipperTweets and Facebook.

Zipper’s Bio
Pleased to meet you! I’m a chocolate Labrador retriever, born with along with my brothers and sisters on November 27, 2016 in West Richland, WA. When I was just 12 weeks old I moved to Colorado to live with my foster mom, dad and two brothers who are golden retrievers, Kosmo and Pluto.

My biggest dream is to be a big, strong Freedom Service Dog graduate one day, so I can help a veteran who needs me. Even though I’m still new here, I’m already learning so much! My favorite trick so far is “touch”, but I think the best part is the treat I get after I do it! I give the best kisses – and lots of them! I love to eat anything and everything, but my mom says that’s because I’m a growing boy.

Being outside, sunbathing, and chasing after leaves are some of my favorite things to do. I also really like to play with other dogs and humans. Sometimes meeting new people is a little scary but it doesn’t take me very long to feel comfortable with them.

I can’t wait to grow up into a Freedom Service Dog and be a “battle buddy” for a veteran. Follow me on KDVR Fox 31 for updates throughout my two-year adventure.

The cost to train most Freedom Service Dogs from start to finish is about $30,000. For me, because I got into the program so much younger than usual, it will cost much more. If you’d like to support me on my journey, I would really appreciate it! All you need to do is click the button below. Thank you!

About FOX31 Denvers’ Serving Those Who Serve Project

FOX31 Denver is honored to partner with Freedom Service Dogs as part of our ongoing commitment to Serving Those Who Serve. The FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve project builds on the stories FOX31 has been telling for years by shining a spotlight on our military and their families. Through the comprehensive initiative, veterans, active service members, their families, and volunteers who serve our military will share their stories with the community, as well as connect with resources and organizations that serve our military men and women. Being able to connect our Colorado veterans to an organization like Freedom Service Dogs is an exciting opportunity for us and we look forward to an ongoing with them and our furry friends.

Special thanks to Pet Wants Denver, who generously donated Zipper’s all-natural food during his puppyhood!

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