As the coronavirus has become an evolving and uncertain public health issue affecting people globally and close to home, we want to reassure you that at Freedom Service Dogs, we are assessing the situation and making appropriate adjustments to our operations on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
It is our top priority to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our volunteers, clients, staff, and supporters, and to continue providing the best possible care for our dogs and puppies in training. To that end, we want to share some important updates with you:
- Freedom Service Dogs is currently closed to the general public and to on-site volunteers as a way of doing our part to contain transmission of the virus.
- All FSD employees capable of working from home are doing so. However, because we have dogs housed at our facility, several FSD staff members will continue to be on-site providing daily care for them, including food, medicine, exercise, and enrichment.
- Our dedicated foster and puppy-raising volunteers have stepped up their support and will be caring for adult dogs and puppies in their homes, with our training and support staff providing training advice and ongoing guidance to those volunteers so our pups can keep progressing.
- Thanks to creative problem solving and a highly adaptable group of people, we are currently conducting a modified spring placement class for five new FSD clients using video conferencing technology and private training to get our life-changing service dogs into their homes (see a photo of these five new service dogs below and stay tuned for updates in the weeks to come as we introduce you to their human partners).
As you know, the situation in the U.S. and here in Colorado is evolving rapidly, and our operations could look different in the days and weeks ahead. But please know that we are here for the dogs, for our clients, for our volunteers and staff, and for you—our loyal supporters—come what may.
Finally, I want to mention that many of our supporters have reached out to ask if there are ways they can still help FSD. We know that everyone’s day-to-day life and finances have been affected by the coronavirus crisis—and that holds true for Freedom Service Dogs as well. In answer to those queries, I tell these generous supporters that we remain in need of financial support in order to keep providing custom-trained service dogs at no charge to the clients who are counting on us, perhaps now more than ever. If you are in a position to help, we welcome your gift of any amount—and we thank you for thinking of FSD in the midst of this unsettling time.
We are so grateful for your understanding and compassion, now and always. On behalf of everyone at FSD, please be safe and well.
President & CEO