For more than 30 years, Fidos has existed for two simple reasons:
to improve the quality of life for persons with mobility impairments, hearing loss and veterans with PTSD in the Baltimore-Washington area by partnering them with specially trained assistance dogs
to increase the quality of life for people in healthcare/educational facilities through the use of well-trained therapy dogs who offer unconditional affection and attention, including the Fidos Dogs Educating & Assisting Readers (aka DEAR Program) taking place in local schools and libraries. Fidos DEAR Program improves reading skills by encouraging children to read one-on-one with a Fidos Therapy Dog and Trained Volunteer.
With the challenge of growing our program comes the need for additional funding. Each assistance dog we train costs approximately $2,500 annually for food, veterinary care and other necessary expenses. Each dog also requires hundreds of hours of volunteer time to train the dog and educate the client, ensuring they are a cohesive team at graduation. Our volunteers graciously take our puppies into their homes to train them to grow up to be Assistance Dogs.
The Junior Volunteer Program has an excellent reputation and benefits from young people who desire to perform voluntary community service in an organization devoted to building disability awareness and developing healthy and helpful relationships with dogs and their handlers.