Meet Our Teams | Saint Francis Service Dogs

Below, meet some of our recent teams and hear in their own words how their Saint Francis Service Dogs change their lives.

Class of 2023

Oliver and Radford Public Library
“We are so fortunate to have Oliver with us daily. He puts a smile on everyone's face.”
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Emily and Gertti
“Gertti brings smiles, warmth, and laughter into our family. Emily likes to say 'my favorite.' She knows Gertti is hers and is there for he every day.”
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Beatrice, Zuzu, and the Breeding Program
”The exceptional quality of the dogs we raise and train is at the core of what we do. Our future litters will allow us to help the many deserving people waiting for a service dog of their own."
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Hank and Brandon Oaks
“Hank brings energy and joy into the community, and we could all use a little joy. We are so excited he's here."
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Class of 2022

Oliver and the Radford Public Library
“I was all but a recluse before Saint Francis. Partnership with Hank, and Turbo before him, is the primary thing that helps me be successful interacting with the outside world.”
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Keeper and VT School of Health Science and Technology Campus
“Keeper is a bright, shining star on campus. Everyone is eager to visit with him and include him in their events. When he is around, the mood is lighter and enthusiasm is higher. Keeper is the gift that keeps on giving.” -Carrie Knopf, Keeper’s handler
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Felipe and Brutus
“Having Brutus means he can do things for me, rather than me always having to ask someone. I am more independent. I am so happy to have Brutus in my life.”
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Blair and Koa
“Koa has became an extension of me. She is more than a medical equipment to me, she has became my number one companion. We love working together”
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Charlotte and Sophia
“The love and affection along with the task work - it’s just priceless.” -Catherine, Charlotte’s mom
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Class of 2021

David and Eclipse
“There are so many ways this experience has changed my life. I have more freedom with Eclipse. He has given me courage and confidence to do things that I would not be doing without him. Having him with me every day is a blessing.”
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Walker and Warwick Forest
“Walker is everyone’s dog. He is every resident’s dog, he is every team member’s dog. His love for people does not have limits, and you will get that from the moment you meet him. He makes our assisted living feel like home.” -Garnet Gilmore, Walker’s handler
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Mitz and Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
“Mitz has brought light to our entire courthouse. His name, Mitzvah, or Mitz for short, means ‘good deeds.’ The children and adults he has worked with have certainly appreciated his good deeds.” -Judge Minton, Mitz’s handler
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Eric and Nemo
“Nemo helps me live life to the fullest in a multitude of ways. He helps me physically, and he is my constant companion. I am his person and he is mine.”
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Justin and Tipper
“The best thing about Tipper is his unconditional love and devotion to my son. He acts as a bridge to the world, socially and emotionally for Justin. Because of him, I have a happier son.” -Jeanette, Justin’s mom
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Kit and Penny
“My partnership with Penny has brought great peace of mind to both myself and my family. I am able to be more independent and navigate public spaces and new environments safely and with confidence. Penny may be quiet in demeanor, but she has a big presence in what she and I are able to accomplish together.”
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Class of 2020

Lucy and Beck
"Beck brings me joy when I least expect it. She is always ready to work and go on a moment’s notice, and loves doing it. Beck is always ready for adventure.” -Lucy
Leslie and Hansen
“All I have to do is mention his name and he is right there, ready to please and do a task! He is not only a service dog, he is also my companion and partner.” - Leslie
Robert and Ben
“Since Ben has joined our family, Robert has started to display affection spontaneously. Our household is filled with more joy.” -Mike, Robert’s dad
Hannah and Fancy
“It is difficult to gauge how she will change my life over the coming years, but Fancy will be bringing the positivity and the go-get-em’ attitude I need to keep up. While we're finding our new adventures, she'll help keep me safe by ensuring that I reach far, but not too far.” -Hannah
Ian and Archie
“Archie has been the only constant we have had during moments of volatility and change. His energy and company could not have come in a better time. He has been a great support during this time of isolation.” -Silvia, Ian’s mom
Kingston and Aurie
“We see them slowly building a relationship and becoming best buds, which he has never had before! We can see Kingston having less anxiety issues and a bigger and brighter future.” -Joyce, Kingston’s aunt
Tyler and Palmer
“Palmer helps provide structure for Tyler, which allows us to have a routine at home and a greater ability to be in public with Tyler.” -Tina, Tyler’s mom
Ada and Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital
“Everyone loves seeing Ada walk down the halls, patients and staff alike. She has been a huge help with therapy support and seems to really brighten the patients’ days during visit modes.” -Sara, recreation therapist, RRH
Elizabeth and Luna
“The best thing about the partnership is that she loves me for me. She has made me a better person and has given me the confidence to talk to people. She makes me smile all the time. I am very proud that I am her partner.” -Elizabeth
Logan and Rock
“I will never forget the feeling after we got his diagnosis and being told all the things he wouldn’t be able to do, and look at him now with his dog by his side. Our son has so much to offer this world.” -Erin, Logan’s mom
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Class of 2019

Charli and Duxi
"Duxi helps me with walking and doing everyday things. She can open a door for me. She can stand still so that I can balance on my new legs. She can help me get undressed by pulling my shirt off. She sleeps in my room and can go get mommy if I need her. She loves me, I love her. She is a very good dog." Charli
Amy and Freedom
"Freedom knows so many different commands!  She provides me with physical support when I become dizzy/lightheaded. She is also a wonderful companion animal who helps to reduce my anxiety levels and also helps me to stay present and in the moment on a daily basis.  I love how unbelievably smart Freedom is and how much she loves life, loves to learn new things, and loves to play!  I rarely feel lonely anymore because Freedom is with me always. " Amy
Kathy and Radar
"Radar and I have an incredible connection both physically and emotionally. He watches me intently on his own especially when I do something he thinks may be dangerous. He brought the phone to me when I fell off a step stool. He constantly picks up dropped objects and gives them to me both at home and in stores. He is always here with me and is always willing to help. He makes my daily life easier. He promotes my sense of self-worth and confidence." Kathy
April and BRAAC
"April encourages students to move around. She is a great reinforcer. She helps with communication and social skills. She has a calming affect with the students. Students are excited to come to school to see her, and they light up when they see her!" Tammie, Handler
Michael and Ryker
"Michael helps Ryker pick up things he drops, gets help when we need it and helps to support Ryker to provide balance. Michael is also used in speech class to help Ryker project his voice by using commands and fun games. Michael is a part of our family. He’s the missing link we didn’t even know was missing." Alysha, Ryker’s mother
Eliza Jeanne and Tahoe
"Tahoe helps me calm down after I get upset. Sometimes he comes to me and I just feel calm. When he 'covers' (applies his weight on me) it sometimes makes me forget why I’m starting to get upset. He’s also very good at picking things up for me. He’s always happy to see me. I know how much he loves me." Eliza Jeanne
Tristan and Storm
"Storm is always there for me. She helps me by licking and sitting next to me when I get overwhelmed. She is so playful and loyal and happy. She is like a sibling to me." Tristan
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