Freedom Service Dogs Launches 'Free A Hero' Campaign

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Casts awareness of nonprofit's unique model

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These dogs truly do go from possibly not making it out of a shelter to changing another person’s life in less than a year.

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Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD) officially launched the "Free A Hero" billboard and bus shelter campaign that you can’t help but notice as you drive by. Featuring three of the organization’s dogs in a shelter kennel setting with captivating taglines such as "From Life Sentence to Lifesaver" and "Break Me Out, I Have Work To Do," the campaign is tied to a mobile application that showcases the unique model this organization has and its need for charitable dollar support. FSD rescues shelter dogs and custom trains them to become service dogs for people with disabilities.

Unlike most service dog organizations, FSD will get its dogs through close working relations with not only local Colorado shelters and rescues, but also organizations nationwide. This includes alerts by participating organizations about dogs that may have a high propensity for training and service work. FSD trainers then take the dogs to their Englewood, Colo. campus, where they’ll spend the next 6 to 12 months learning up to 50 different commands, including opening doors, retrieving items, pulling wheelchairs, going for help, turning on lights and enhancing social interaction.

Any dog who does not officially graduate as a service dog, is released from the program and adopted into a loving home by FSD. The organization’s website features dogs available for adoption.

The campaign is the end result of a grant given to FSD by PURE Brand Communications. The Denver based agency donated $75,000 in services and worked with FSD for a majority of 2012 to create the campaign.

“We have an amazing story to tell and PURE Brand Communications recognized right away that it could be done much better. They were able to immediately capture the need these amazing and very capable dogs have to be freed from the shelter to fulfill their greater destiny of service dog,” states Sharan Wilson, executive director. “In almost every instance of placing a dog with a client, we receive feedback that their service dog is truly their hero. They are in awe of how their life has been enhanced. These dogs truly do go from possibly not making it out of a shelter to changing another person’s life in less than a year.”

The captivating photos featured in the campaign are credited to Ashleigh Miller Photography, who also donated hours of work for the campaign. Explore Communications was able to secure donated billboard space throughout Colorado, enabling FSD to obtain exposure it otherwise would not be able to afford.

Currently, FSD has over 60 clients on the wait list for a service dog. The process can sometimes take over a year to complete due to demand.

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About Freedom Service Dogs of America:
Freedom Service Dogs is a charitable organization. With increased financial support, FSD can rescue, train and provide even more service dogs to those in need. Clients include children, veterans and active duty soldiers, and other adults. Their disabilities include Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For more information, visit http://www.freedomservicedogs.org.

About Pure Brand Communications, LLC:
Pure was founded in 2003 and has steadily grown by creatively solving problems for notable brands including leading natural gas producer Encana Oil & Gas, American icon Stetson, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., First Western Trust, NCM Fathom, and dozens more.

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