Meet our newest graduates: June 2023

Historic number of teams graduate from FSD placement class

Join us in welcoming these 12 new graduating teams to our Freedom Service Dogs family. June placement class was a historic occasion that marked the largest graduating class in our history! These hardworking, enthusiastic clients bonded with their service dogs as they learned dog-handling and training skills, as well as custom cues to meet their unique needs. We’re so proud of these amazing grads and the historic milestone they represent. Read on to meet the teams!

Zach & Katana

Zach is a kind and active young adult who enjoys video games and the outdoors. Katana, a dainty and sweet golden retriever, will be helping Zach with handling stress in public, providing deep pressure therapy, and snuggling while he plays video games at home. Zach is looking forward to having Katana by his side during his daily activities, including volunteering.

Dianne & Rebel

Dianne, a dedicated school social worker, has found an exceptional partner in professional therapy dog Rebel. Through skills like resting, covering laps, nudging, and providing comforting leans, Rebel helps Dianne’s students process emotions, build confidence, and develop relationship skills. When off the clock, this dynamic duo finds joy in seaside living and boating adventures. Rebel’s role as the successor to Pirate, Dianne’s previous professional therapy dog from FSD, carries on a legacy of compassion and care, as Pirate enjoys a well-deserved retirement.

Amelia & Prima

Amelia is a bright, engaging, and motivated college student who was matched with Prima. As Amelia’s new best bud, Prima will be accompanying her to college classes and events, providing comforting and grounding tasks like “rest” and “nudge” in stressful times. Amelia and Prima are ready to take on the world together, including adventures to places like Disneyland!

Nick & Reed

Nick is a U.S. Army veteran whose military career spans over two decades, including tours in Iraq and Ukraine. Living with PTSD and back issues in his retirement, Nick finds increased comfort and independence with the help of his service dog, Reed. Reed assists Nick with retrieving dropped items and creating space around him in public areas.

Kristin & Boogie

After an accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, Kristin found a new level of independence upon being matched with her service dog Boogie. Boogie is trained to help Kristin with everyday tasks like opening doors, retrieving items, and walking. Kristin and her husband are also dedicated volunteer puppy raisers and have already raised two pups for FSD!

Lillian & Bey

Lilian is a high school student who finds strength and independence through their loyal service dog, Bey. They live with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and Bey has been custom-trained to assist them by retrieving essential items like their phone, medication, crutches, and wallet. Beyond academics, Lilian’s creative spirit shines as they spend many hours designing and sewing impressive costumes.

Leo & Sprout

U.S. Army veteran Leo served in the Criminal Investigation Division and provided security for Vice President Dick Cheney. His journey continues with the support of his second service dog, Sprout, who helps him navigate life with PTSD, knee, and shoulder challenges. Sprout has been trained to assist Leo by creating space in crowds, nudging him to bring him back into the present moment, and retrieving items, enabling him to lead a more independent life. After retiring from the military, Leo continues to serve others as part of a coalition to build homes for veterans and others experiencing homelessness.

Angela & Melody

Angela, who lives with mobility challenges due to a spinal cord injury, was partnered with her service dog Melody. Melody provides assistance with walking and standing up after falls, giving Angela more independence. Melody has also been trained to locate Angela’s husband within their home and retrieve dropped items like her cane, keys, phone, or wallet. She will greatly enhance Angela’s quality of life and allow her to participate in all the activities she loves on her rural farm, including caring for horses and goats!

Thomas & Valor

Thomas is a U.S. Navy veteran with a career spanning over two decades, including deployments to Iraq and the Global War on Terror. His faithful— and aptly named—service dog Valor is a constant source of support, aiding him with his PTSD, mobility issues, and hearing challenges. Valor is trained to retrieve items, create space in crowded environments, and nudge Thomas to bring him back to the present moment.

Tamra & Fern

Tamra was matched with her service dog Fern who helps her mitigate challenges she faces as a result of an autoimmune condition. Fern assists Tamra with tasks like retrieving dropped items, opening doors, and waking her from nightmares. Tamra finds joy in volunteering with seniors at her community center and is working toward her certification as an end-of-life doula.

Wolfy & Moss

Wolfy is a passionate, soft-spoken, and caring young adult who loves dogs, especially their new service dog partner Moss! Moss, a tall yellow Lab, will provide comfort and interruptions in the form of lap resting and gentle nudges when Wolfy is experiencing stress at school and in public. Wolfy is looking forward to Moss being their best bud, accompanying them on new adventures, and spending quality cuddle time at home. 

Interested in sponsoring one of our future teams? Contact Shanda Griebel at [email protected] or 303-922-6231 ext. 240.

Contact Erin Conley at for all media inquiries.