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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fidos For Freedom Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: To provide trained Service Dogs or Hearing Dogs to people who are physically challenged, deaf or hard-of-hearing, including on-going support services and training. 

To provide quality trained assistance dogs and continued client support and training for the duration of the working team for people with mobility and hearing impairment. To provide emotional and physical benefits through the use of well trained therapy dogs and volunteers for patients residing in health care facilities. To educate, enlighten and enrich the lives of individuals in the use of quality trained dogs in disability awareness presentations and demonstrations in schools, churches, organizations and businesses within the community. To provide a junior volunteer program, enabling hands on experience with the training of dogs and working with physically challenged individuals while earning community service hours. To provide a reading literacy program that improves the reading skills of elementary school students by encouraging them to read one-on-one with a Fidos Therapy Dog in a relaxed learning environment.

Target demographics: increase the quality of life for people

Direct beneficiaries per year: 22 clients in training plus 35 active teams in 2013. 238 health care visits in 2012.

Geographic areas served: Washington-Baltimore metropolitan community

Programs: dogs for veterans, hearing dogs, service dogs and therapy dogs.

Community Stories

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We absolutely love this program and it has helped her with her fluency and confidence... it’s also helped her associate happy, positive feelings with reading ❤️❤️❤️

I tell everyone about the program and share photos of each time we go. If you had any idea how my daughter struggled with reading because of her learning and emotional challenges and you compared her before the program and now... you would not know it’s the same kid. Thank you so much for everything you guys do ❤️

Comments ( 1 )

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CaraG 10/17/2018

Marcia, We are very happy to hear how much the DEAR Program has helped your daughter. Thanks for sharing the great picture and review!

1 Roy L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I appr3eciate every thing that Fido's for Freedom has done for me! I am a client that is suffering from a rare brain disorder that causes my muscels to spasm. I was matched with Abbie , who is pictured , to help me do things that was becoming difficult for me, such as : taking my shoes off, picking up things that I have dropped, and getting my clothes out of my dresser droors, She has made a big diffrence in my life along with all the staff and clients I have been introduce to since 2014. I also would like to thank Samantha Bowman for the excellent training she accommplished with my service dog Abbie.
Thank You
Roy Lewis

Linda Jo N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fidos trained my beloved service dog and supported me every step of the way. My dog has given me back so much freedom and confidence. I would be lost without her help and skills as my partner throughout the day. She is a blessing and only possible because of the tireless work and dedication of all at Fidos for Freedom.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a highly motivated and very dedicated group of people. The training staff, from puppy raisers to the dog trainers work tirelessly to provide trained service dogs to clients who need help mitigating their disability. They are committed and passionate and their dogs do change lives every day. My service dog has opened my life back up in amazing ways, I enjoy daily activities more, I feel more confident and I depend on my partner to help me in many different ways. Thank you Fidos for helping me regain confidence.

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1 Bonnie Sraver L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have continued to volunteer with Fidos for Freedom since 2007. Now I have my third and fourth Golden retriever as Therapy Dogs with this fantastic organization. I enjoy the fact that we are able to go to so many different facilities to bring joy to many people. We go to nursing homes, hospitals, elder care facilities, facilities for adults with special needs, schools and public libraries in the county.
Each of my visits means something personally to me. The nursing home we visit is the one in which my grandfather passed away. The hospital is where all of my family, including myself, have been patients. The schools and facilities for clients with special needs; because I taught special needs children swimming and physical education for 4 years as a teenage.

I have so many great experiences I can share with you, but just to name a few:
Having a gentleman, who can only say one word, pet your dog for the first time in 5 years is priceless. It took 5 years and he finally petted my dog. Another client in that same facility always asks where is my Tucker, who passed away in 2015. She will always remember my Golden as the first dog she petted 9 years ago. That is the joy of going to the same facility each month, each year.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Fidos for Freedom since 2007. As a therapy dog handler I have witnessed the joy that therapy dogs bring to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools .
On one evening in a local hospital in the mental health ward, my 2 golden retrievers did a trick in which one jumped over the back of the other. Everyone in the room clapped. A patient said to me, "The entire atmosphere of the room was up-lifted!"
Several years ago Fidos for Freedom received a special request from a hospital to fulfill the dying wish of a 12 year-old boy who was dying of cancer to pet a dog. A friend and her Border collie and I with my Golden drove to Baltimore to let the little boy pet our dogs. The parents and family were so grateful. The nurse told us that the little boy would not survive the night and that she was so thankful that we were able to come when she called.
Recently two high school students approached me to let me know that they read to my Golden retrievers when they were in elementary school as part of the DEAR program. (Dogs Educating and Assisting Reading). The dogs made a lasting impression on these students, one of which is now a junior dog handler at Fidos for Freedom.
These are only a few examples that demonstrate how our therapy dogs have bought joy and comfort to children, students, nursing home patients, wounded warriors and seniors in assisted living facilities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer I have enormous respect for the excellent Service dog training and ongoing support of the matched teams as well as the therapy dog training and the multiple therapy dog activities bringing joy to young and old across the area. This is a great little organization filling an important need with loving thought and knowledge. Nan Marks

Brian166

Client Served

Rating: 5

They're great! They do so much for the disabled community. The trainers are all volunteers and put years into creating great service dogs! They have a huge therapy dog program with over 100 teams. So many volunteers freely donate their time and dogs to bring smiles to people in the DMV area!

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fidos for Freedom is a great organization that makes a tremendous difference in the DC/ Baltimore region. There mission of helping people with disabilities gain independence with a service dog hha changed my life personally. They have an army of therapy dog teams that bring comfort to thousands every year.

1 amploskonka

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fidos matched me with my mobility assistance dog, Nala, in 2014 and gave me back my independence. I can’t imagine life without Nala or the wonderful support that I still receive from my Fidos family.

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was matched with my service dog, Nala, on November 1, 2014. I could have never prepared for all of the ways that it has changed my life. Living with an invisible disability can be not only physically painful but socially isolating. It is easy to withdraw into yourself when you are trying to manage an illness that people can't see. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis and POTS when I was in high school. These illnesses cause me to have periods of extreme abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and dizziness. For years, I struggled to be independent while managing these symptoms. As I got older, I found myself relying on my parents more and more as my symptoms progressed. I love my parents dearly and am beyond appreciative for their help but I needed to find a way to restore my independence and my confidence. That's when I found Fidos for Freedom, Inc.

Nala has allowed me to be independent again and helps me by performing tasks to help me mitigate the effects of my disability. At the end of the day, I become so bloated that moving, especially bending over, is very uncomfortable. Now I have Nala to help me take off my clothes and to retrieve my pajamas for me. I get periods of terrible abdominal pain and for years I would have to find a way to get myself into a comfortable position with a heating pad. Now I have Nala to brace me into a sitting position and to put her head on my stomach to act as a heating pad no matter where we are. I also tend to get very dizzy and fatigued at intervals during the day. Now I have Nala to help me balance and walk safely. For years, I never took an elevator because I would always be too dizzy by the time I got off of the elevator to walk. I finally took an elevator again for the first time with Nala by my side. Being able to ride an elevator again is such a small thing but it opens up a big world of possibilities for me that I thought had been lost when I got sick.

Not only does Nala help me physically, but she helps me to be more open socially. I have met so many new people through Nala and I really enjoy sharing with other people about our partnership and my illness. Nala puts a smile on the face of everyone she meets and brings out the best in them. The joy that she spreads is contagious and the unconditional love that she shows myself and others is inspiring. I am happier and more confident than I've ever been with Nala by my side. In addition, because of our bond and the wonderful people and dogs that I have met through Fidos for Freedom, Inc., I no longer feel isolated with my illness. I have gained not just a wonderful service dog but also a wonderful support system as well. I'm looking forward to all that the future holds and to experiencing it with Nala by my side!

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1 Ann D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Fidos! A nonprofit that has a large staff of dedicated volunteers that train and provide service dogs and hearing dogs to people with disabilities. I am fortunate to have been placed with a Fidos trained service dog to assist me with my needs.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit which is changing the lives of their clients.

1 frances.glavangmail.com

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fidos service dogs are changing lives. For people with mobility issues the dog can literally open doors by hitting the handicap access, they can help them stand by bracing and providing a firm surface to push up on, etc. But the bond between the service dog and the client are life changing. Service dogs allow independence. Fidos is powered by volunteers and donations which makes a service dog affordable for those who need one.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had heard about Therapy Dogs, but when I retired I did a Google search and found Fidos For Freedom. That was almost 7 yeas ago. I had just retired and wanted to give back to the community and humanity, I never imagined I would find a second family and a feeling of accomplishment. Last year Trista and I did 75 visits, I teach a Therapy Dog class and I'm a case worker for service dog clients.I have made for ever friends and feel that I'm making the lives of others a little brighter. Trista loves the extra pets. Come join our family, furbabies are always welcome.

2 Jane45

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jane; I am a client with a service dog from Fidos For Freedom. I have also been a long term volunteer with this organization (since 2006). In my experiences with Fidos, I have always been extremely pleased with how I have been treated as a client and volunteer. My service dog Annie and I are still in our probationary period, but look forward to graduating next year at the 2019 Banquet and Graduation dinner. Annie is my rock; she is my mobility and balance dog. We do everything together; she has made my life much safer, less stressful and my ability to get around more independently easier. Without Annie by my side, I had been needing to use a cane to walk more than just a short distance. I could not get things up from the floor or maintain my balance at times when experiencing a bout of my chronic illness.
The volunteers, trainers, staff and all clients are like a big family. We support and celebrate each other's good happenings, cry at the sad things and love with all of our hearts. I am sure that I will be a part of the Fidos family for many years to come.
I am personally grateful to the folks running the group, the breeders and rescues that donate the dogs that we raise/train/place with clients like me. Annie is my best friend; I look forward to having her for many years to continue assisting me when and where needed.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fidos For Freedom is a non profit group that raises/trains service dogs for hearing and mobility impaired folks that we like to think of as extended family. With the time, blood, sweat and tears that we all put into the great results that we get for hearing and service teams, we do become like family......albeit good or not! The work starts when we get puppies or dogs up to 1 yr old donated to us by breeders, rescues and the public. These pups are tested to see if they have the demeanor/personality and stamina that we require for a working dog. They live with puppy raisers, in our prison program and with trainers until they are matched with the clients. It is neat to see that the dogs usually do the matching and when the humans figure it out, it becomes official. I have been part of the group for nearly 8 years now and have witnessed many miracles from our client teams when they move through the crowd someplace and just shine as a team and talk to people as to what having a service dog has done to change their lives.....it changes all of our lives for the better. We also have a therapy dog program that works with schools, libraries, nursing and rehab centers, hospice and cancer treatment facilities. We also do outreach for end of year studying for exams at local colleges and universities on an as needed basis...we always get asked back......the dogs are the heart of our group...the humans just hold the leashes and provide some directions. That is pretty much the way I see Fidos For Freedom.

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1 Pam L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Fidos For Freedom, Inc!

I first found out about Fidos around 1994. My dog and I started by being tested to become a therapy team. We visited a nursing home on a regular basis, but the thing my dog loved best was being part of the disAbility Awareness Project (dAp) in the Howard County schools. Fidos was part of that program for 20 years, and we spent most Fridays teaching kids about living with disabilities, and what assistance dogs and therapy dogs did for people.

As much as I loved visiting people and sharing my dog with them as part of the therapy dog program at Fidos, I think my favorite thing about Fidos is the assistance dog program. After I'd been a volunteer for several years, I began to get involved with training the assistance dog puppies. This also gave me an opportunity to get to know the clients who came to Fidos to get matched with an assistance dog.

I loved getting to know each new client, and learn how a dog could improve their lives. I especially loved watching the teams grow. The difference an assistance dog can make in a person's life is incredible. Watching a person become more independent, more outgoing, more interactive with their own world.... There are no words to describe the impact a dog can have.

The volunteers at Fidos put an incredible amount of time and energy into making this magic happen. I spent 20 years as an active volunteer before moving out of state. It's been 5 years, and I still make trips back just to visit!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Until I moved out of the area, I was a volunteer with Fidos for Freedom, Inc. for nearly 20 years. The Hearing Dogs and Service Dogs they train and match with people with disabilities are fantastic and really change lives. The volunteers who take their own personal pets to visit facilities as Therapy Dogs are priceless, and the dogs make such a difference to the people they interact with. I've seen people transform in truly amazing way after being partnered with a Fidos Assistance Dog. People who have gained confidence and strength, both physical and emotional; people who have completed tasks they might never have begun; and the impact the Therapy Dogs have had is immeasurable. All of this with a mostly volunteer work force.

1 Tracy B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Fidos for Freedom, and have been for many years. It's a place where I get to work with other dedicated people who love people, and have a heart for the mission to improve the quality of life for others through the use of specially trained dogs.

The opportunity to see the results of our programs personally and directly is so very rewarding, and I think I will volunteer with Fidos for Freedom for years to come.

1 Madeleine B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Mark passed away this past June. He was matched with his service dog Monty in October 2012. Because of this incredible organization, Mark last years on the earth were indescribably wonderful. Monty not only helped him physically (picking up, fetching, helping him with undressing to name a few), but more importantly emotionally. In a Voice of America interview he called Monty his savior. I still have a part of Mark because of Monty. Supporting this organization is giving another person the life saving gift given to Mark.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was matched with his service dog about a year and a half ago. His life has been immeasurably improved by this organization and their incredible work. Everyone that we have met at this organization has a laser focus on helping individuals with disabilities to improve their lives. They are selfless, dedicated volunteers who go way above and beyond in their work. And they do this with love and humor and you become a part of their family. I have never been a part of any organization that works so hard to improve the lives of others. If I could I would volunteer all my time helping them in any way possible.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a wonderful dogs from Fido's who helps me be more independent in my everyday living. He picks up things I've dropped, he opens doors, he takes off my socks and shoes and many more tasks. Fido's is my family and they helped me get back on my feet again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We loved being part of the Fidos family. They care, they train amazing dogs and their first priority is the welfare of the dogs they place. Their ongoing assistance to matched partners is amazing. They truly become family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have recently been matched with my service dog Annie. We will be ready to work out in public in the next month or so. She will assist me with balance, side affects from three gastrointestinal disabilities, retrieve items, open doors, fetch laundry and grocery items. Annie is going to be a lifesaver for me.
Fidos training program is a very hands on approach to learning specific skills for your needs. I can't imagine moving forward without Annie in my life. She will change how I am able to stay at work after having painful gastro attacks. She will also do deep pressure therapy, like being a doggy heating pad.
I can't thank Fidos enough for help in giving me more of my life back.

1 Diane204

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am no longer afraid to go by myself since I have been with my great hearing dogs from Fidos!!

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a client of this organization they have helped me more than I ever thought possible. I have a hearing dog that now helps me get places on time, not burn my dinner lets me know when people are calling my name. Life is Good

1 Ron H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fidos got a call from a mother whose 13 year old daughter had to have back surgery. She told us the girl was in a lot of pain without her medications. She asked us to send a couple of therapy dogs over to see her as she loved dogs. The morning of our arrival she didn't take her medication so that she would be awake. i took my sheltie "Taz" and another person took her small dog "Trista". The girl sat on the couch and we put one dog on either side of her sitting right next to her. The dogs layed there for an hour and a half while she petted them. Fidos got a call from her mother later and informed us that when the little girl went to sleep after we left, that she went to sleep and did't need pain medication. This shows what a great thing that therapy dogs do with helping reduce stress. made a true believer of me. Fidos For Freedom does a great job with a lot of other causes as well. Proud to be part of such a great organization

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well, I wanted to say about this non profits for Fido's for Freedom.. they rock my world again.. They help me with Lily to match with me for all these years.. we been together for a long time.. almost 10 years.. She is my rock star and i love her to pieces!! Love you Lily! Thank you so much Fido's for Freedom!!