In May I posted about Dogster member Brittney (two-legged) and her dog Sam, partners in the Puppy Raising Program. The Foundation for Service Dog Support, a non-profit organization based in Arizona, runs the program. They are a support and resource center for those with service dogs, and those who seek information and training on service dog issues.
The program allows students to earn HS credits, while learning puppy raising, canine obedience and canine safety programming. At the end of three semesters, the teams must successfully pass the FSDS Certification test, and the dogs will then be matched with individuals in the community with disabilities who require service dogs.
Over the summer Brittney has been interning at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and she and Sam were involved in several cases assisting crime victims. I just received word that Sam was chosen as the 2009 Community Service Pet Hero because of the role he is playing in the courts.
In one case, a small child was too frightened to go to court and testify because she had to face her abuser. The attorney from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office got permission for Brittney to bring Sam to court with her, they accompanied the child into the courtroom. With Sam there, the child felt safe. She testified, and the perpetrator was convicted. The prosecutor said that Sam’s presence there made a difference.
Sam will receive a custom designed medal at a black tie banquet in October. Wow, what an amazing achievement for both Brittney and Sam. Congratulations to this amazing duo.