"I brought Nero home from the shelter 3 years ago as a starved 4 month old puppy. It's hard to believe that scrawny little thing has grown up to be my amazing service dog, my rock, and my best friend. He gave me my life back, allowed me to return to school and accomplish so many things I didn't think I would be able to do.
He has accompanied me almost everywhere I go for more than 2 years, even flown all around the country with me. He uses tasks like alerting to repetitive behaviors and high stress, redirecting me during panic attacks, DPT, blocking, opening doors, and just being there for me during hard times. I have no idea where I would be today without him by my side." -Clara
Rescued From: Washington Animal Rescue League
"Since starting and training with SSDI, I have grown so much. Not only as a person, but as a dog owner and a partner. I am more confident in public, I have more independence and I didn’t know how strong of a bond I could grow with an animal until Luna and I started training with them.
I got Luna as a puppy and we started training with SSDI when she was just a few months old. They have been with me through all of the ups and downs of puppyhood to a service dog in training who is working and tasking. There were many times where I didn’t know if I would make it out alive or times I felt like a failure, and my trainer was always there to give me advice and cheer me on. I have been given the most valuable tools and training methods that I couldn’t find anywhere else or, from what I believe, from any other service dog program.
SSDI is special because of their personalized approach. They understand that each team is different and learns differently. They understand that to be partners, you must develop a bond with your animal and I can honestly say that through their advice and exercises I have a bond stronger with Luna than I’ve ever had with a dog in my life. We rely on each other. She is my life line and I am her world.
Since working with SSDI, I have gained the confidence needed to train my dog for service work, learn skills I never knew I had, and build a bond that I know will stand the test of time. Not to mention, I’ve grown to have such a passion for training and non-profit work! I couldn’t be more grateful to SSDI and Ashley for helping me get to where I am with Luna today, and I can’t wait to see where the future and takes us!" -Shelby
Ciel & Princess Leia
"Starfleet has more than changed my life. I feel as if I am finally in control again. Princess Leia and I have been working as a team for a little over a year now and the progress we made has been phenomenal. We have learned new things, gone to new places, and tackled many new challenges as a team. I have gained the ability to do things I could not previously and she was as given a second chance to live.
Leia was brought in as a stray to the Stockton animal shelter. When Starfleet found her she was matted and had no interest in people. Today Leia has more confidence than most people and lives a happy life. They even made time to fly out to me and train us as a team though we are 1,180 miles away.
In the past year more health issues have surfaced and I needed more help than I did previously. With the help of Starfleet they taught me to train Leia to assist with all the new tasks I need as they came. She has quickly become my best friend. Leia has many tasks utilized on a daily basis such as picking things up, closing/opening doors, clearing rooms, monitoring heart rate, and many more. Thanks to Starfleet and their amazing team I have gained more independence than I imagined.
Starfleet and their amazing trainers have granted me the ability to go back to school, go to work, relax at home and go out with peace of mind. I don't know what I would do without my shadow and without the trainers at Starfleet." -Ciel
Rescued From: Stockton Animal Services Center
"I went through SSDI’s owner-assisted training program, where upon SSDI helped me find Hercules. Hercules was absolutely the most perfect dog Jenny could've found for me. She walked me through everything from veterinary care to training and helped me become a confident partner to Hercules. He's learned so fast and so much from Jenny and her team and so have I.
Jenny is knowledgeable about the law and always just a phone call away. She actively works to be flexible with training to work with all kinds of crazy schedules. Hercules is the best kind of help I could've ever asked for, and we're so excited to continue training." -Chelsea
Rescued From: Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center