Dogs on billboards.
The campaign features some of the nonprofit’s dogs on billboards, buses and bus shelters and at dog parks, encouraging people to donate so the group can find more dogs for the program.
“That’s the focus of the campaign: taking the ‘heroes’ and breaking them out of shelters and giving them an opportunity to do something and be something to someone else,” executive director Sharan Wilson said.
Wilson said the nonprofit normally would not have the money for marketing campaigns.
“It’s an expensive thing that we do, but a lot of our clients don’t have the funding to get this service,” she said.
Freedom Service Dogs is one of the few organizations in the United States to use rescued dogs as service dogs. It costs about $ 25,000 per dog to rescue them, treat them and train them. Training takes about seven to nine months.
The animals first go through behavior training, then they spend time being trained with a nonviolent prisoner or with at-risk youth, and then they are custom-trained to provide a certain skill for a person with disabilities. Disabilities can include multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, spinal-cord injuries and strokes, and dogs also can help military veterans with missing limbs and post-traumatic stress disorder.