RETRIEVING FREEDOM, Inc.
Retrieving Freedom, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded for the pupose of training and placing service dogs with our Disabled Veterans and Children with Autism.
Scott Dewey and Charles Dwyer have founded this new organization for the placement of service dogs for the Disabled Veterans and Children with Autism that come from every walk of life. Most of these recipients struggle with astronomical health care costs, and cannot afford the service dogs that can bring the independence back into their lives.
I would like to let the field trial community know that following the 2012 National Open that I will no longer be training competition retrievers professionally. I want to thank everyone in this sport for the past twelve years that Rock River Retrievers has been operating, it was a GREAT RIDE! I also want everyone to know that we need your support in this new organization. Please take the time to call, email, or visit our website to see how you can help place a dog with our Disabled Veterans and Children with Autism. You can click on the Retrieving Freedom banner on RTF to see the website at retrievingfreedom.org.
I am brand new at posting, so bear with me. On the website in the event section you will see a great way that you can help guys like Jonathan Carnes raise some money for his service dog through a raffle that we are doing on a War Eagle Boat! Soon we will also be opening a new raffle for 2 training seminars, one with Mike Lardy and one with Dave Rorem that the winner can attend within the next 12-18 months.
To purchase raffle tickets go to: http://retrievingfreedom.org/Event_11-24-12.shtml
Please feel free to ask and email any questions that you might have about Retrieving Freedom.
Scott email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles email: email@example.com
Good luck to you Scott and Charles! Very courageous of you two in leading out to something with much more meaningful purpose and leaving what you're so accustomed to with guaranteed paychecks.
This is really a great program and one that we should all support. I sent a dog several months ago to Scott and am pleased that he seems to be progressing well with him.
I bought the book for my Grandson that they are selling. This is a book that depicts an x soldier and how his service dog has helped restore his life to normal. Hollywood will be making a movie out of the book and it is appropriate for young teens as well as adults. I encourage each of you to buy this book, share it with a family member and spread the word of hope that Retriever Freedon supports. I am proud of Charles and Scott and their families for breaking out of their comfort zone and starting a new venture that highlights the unique ability of dogs to bring a new quality of life to adults and children in need.
Troy, Ted, and Gwen --- THANK YOU!
Good post, Troy.
Originally Posted by TroyFeeken
I first trained with Scott when he was just starting out on his own and watched him build his reputation to what it is today. That is not done without a tremendous amount of work and commitment to excellence. He has never done anything halfway. Proud to call him a friend.
You are right; it is a courageous move at a time when the future looks so bright and I’ll bet he will miss ... at least a little ... the challenge of training these fantastic retrievers and the competition that goes along with it. At the same time, I have seen how passionate he and Charles have become with this new “calling”. They do have their act together and I know they will deliver the most highly skilled service dogs in the business as affordably as possible.
It is a worthy cause to support, indeed. Rarely would one of these recipients be able to afford a dog without help and a contribution to make that possible ... gotta make you feel good!
Back to the top, just in case anybody missed it. This is a great venture and puts new meaning into dog training. Scott and Charles have worked very hard to get where they are in life and will continue to do the same with Retrieving Freedom.
Let me know if you need any help, I would be honored to be a part....
Great, thanks Jack and Dex! We have recieved several emails as well with a few questions that I would like to answer for everyone.
Q: Are donations to Retrieving Freedom tax deductible?
A: Yes, we are officially a 501c3 charitible organization registered with the IRS.
Q: How can we help?
A: There are many ways:
1. Make a donation to RFI on the website or mail to Retrieving Freedom, Inc. at 1148 230th St, Waverly, IA 50677
2. Purchase raffle tickets for the War Eagle boat that will given away Nov 24th to help train and place service dogs.
3. Sign up to be a donor home for a RFI puppy. Raise the puppy till 6-9 months of age prior to official training.
4. Donate a trial dog that does not meet your expectations, and be included on the placement of that dog to their new recipient.
5. Offer profesional services that are needed for the organization. Examples are grant writing, public awareness campaigns, legal services, research, and connections to unknown donor's that would want to be a part of this needed organization.
Scott why are you leaving a sport that you have been sucessful in for something like this?
A: For the past several years I have been struggling with the time that this career has taken away from my wife and two young boys. We all know what it takes to be competitive in this sport, and I feel that to this day I have dedicated myself to be the best trainer, handler and Field Trial Representative possible.
Ironically, I have discovered a need for trained retrievers that coincides with my aspirations to be at home more with my family.
Charles Dwyer approached me with the initial idea of training service dogs for disabled veterans, after reviewing and considering the possibilities. I was intrigued primarily, because it would allow me to continue training dogs while being home more with my family. I still had not felt a burning desire or sense of any urgency to make this idea a reality. After the winter trip of 2011, I began some trial and error service dog training and continued researching of the service dog industry.
Through this research, Charles and I began to see the incredible needs for trained service dogs that were not being met. We also starting seeing, firsthand, the impact that these dogs were making with the disabled veterans with Post Traumatic Stress. It was unbelievable! We met guys that had attempted suicide after being sent home in a wheelchair. And now, with their new retrieving buddy by their side, they were giving presentations in front of thousands of people! Not only did we see dogs that helped with their physical disabilities, but they helped with their mental stress as well.
This research continued as we began working on the many ideas and details of a business plan. I was getting comfortable with the responses that I was getting while training the few experimental dogs that I was working, yet I still needed more information to feel comfortable with our plan. This was when Charles and I made a trip to ECAD, a service dog training facility in New York. We returned home with several new ideas and a huge sense of security in our abilities to make this idea a reality.
The first change we needed to make in our plan was a way to reduce our washout rate to a level well below a very high industry average. We realized that every dog would not have the abilities to make an assertive service dog for a disabled veteran, and we introduced children with autism into our plan. We feel that dogs chosen with the desired breeding traits would have a very high chance of success in one of these two markets. Often times the dogs that do not meet the requirements for a disabled veteran will be a perfect match for an autistic child.
Charles dove head-first into working hands-on with a school for children with autism. The results of this work are amazing, and they include stories of five year old autistic children talking for the first time because of a connection made with a dog. Being there during these times created a very emotional and spiritual emotion.
We have started a not-for-profit business called Retrieving Freedom, Inc., (RFI) that will provide trained service dogs to disabled veterans and children with autism. Our reasons for a not-for-profit organization are based on the fact that most of these people can’t afford the service dogs that they so desperately need. We will be introducing several plans that will allow individuals to support RFI; including the need for cash contributions, donor homes for puppies, donated field trial washouts, and the volunteering of professional services.
Retrieving Freedom has officially received our 501c3 status as a charitable organization, which the IRS allows donations to be fully tax deductible.
We are working on several fundraising campaigns that will include many sponsors from our field trial industry. Charles and I have done a lot of soul searching and have developed a business plan and strategy over the past 18 months. We are now ready to implement and execute our strategy. To this point I have committed to my field trial customers to train competition dogs through the 2012 National Open, and that I would do my best to try and win it.
What first started as a way to be home more with my family has now become a passion that’s found its way into my heart, and I am committed and driven to make this a success for the people who require our help.
Finally, I want to say thank-you to everyone in this sport that has been a part of my life over the last twelve years of training field trial retrievers. I am proud of the dogs and clients that have put the faith in allowing me to train their dogs to level of success we achieved. This sport has allowed me to meet thousands of wonderful people and see some of the most beautiful parts of this country. I believe that this past experience is what will allow me to make this next step in my life.
Many people do not realize that there is no specific government funding available for our Disabled Veterans that are in need of a service dog. In the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars alone over 60,000 Veterans have been disabled and 300,000+ Veterans are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The number of dogs placed with these Veterans is under 500. They need our help and we need your help!
I have not even mentioned the 47,000 children born each year with Autism.
Best of luck on your endeavors to help our disabled veterans as well as the Autistic children
Scott great and worthy cause!! If I am reading this right a donation of a puppy/washout is tax deductible?
Great Program Regards,