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FIDOS Facility Dogs

Friends Invested and Dedicated to Outreach and Service

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Our Mission

Our Facility Dogs provide positive interactions between dogs and those they serve within healthcare, education, and corporate environments.

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Our Mission
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What We Do

We offer our clients highly trained facility dogs, focusing on the Standard Poodle breed, and consulting services related to facility dog program development at your location.


There are two aspects of our Facility Dog Program: 1) the dog and its training, and 2) establishing and implementing a program within the organization, including developing policies and contracts, communicating with staff, and training modules for volunteers and staff that interact with the Facility Dogs. Through our staff and training partners, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to help your organization start a Facility Dog program at your location. In addition, we offer continued support and training for your Facility Dog and your handlers to facilitate successful placement and meeting your goals of having a Facility Dog.

  • We train working dogs specializing in therapeutic services for healthcare, education, and corporate facilities. We specialize in Standard Poodle breeds.

  • We believe in, and use, force-free and positive reinforcement training philosophies.

  • We offer consulting services for organizations interested in starting a facility dog program at their location.

  • We also partner with other facilities to offer continued education for handlers, dogs, and staff.

  • We offer community outreach to provide therapeutic services for schools, colleges, and/or community events.

What We Do

Who We Are

FIDOS was born through a shared love of dogs among three friends in Birmingham, Alabama, and their unique experiences working with service dogs, facility dogs, and animal assisted therapy dogs. We believe that serving our community is a privilege and through this shared love and passion, Kelly Schaeffer founded FIDOS Facility Dogs, focusing on raising facility dogs using an individualized training approach specific to the needs of the facility. FIDOS is unique due to the personalized training model and the breed of choice, the Standard Poodle.

Who We Are
  • What is a Facility Dog?
    A Facility Dog is type of therapy dog trained to provide services in a corporate, healthcare, judicial, or educational facility. These dogs are trained to work in a facility with a full-time handler. Facility Dogs serve multiple people in the facility, for example, a facility dog might work in specific clinics providing support for children who are getting their labs drawn for diagnosis. Facility dogs are like “employees” at the facility in which they work. They come to work with their handler and work with the adults and children they serve. Facility dogs are expertly trained to do many tasks that support the people they serve. Their handlers are trained to work with the Facility Dogs on a daily basis, making sure that the dogs are well cared for, get breaks, and stay committed to continual training. The Facility Dog lives with its handler.
  • What does a Facility Dog do?
    A Facility Dog can be trained to do many things and its skills may vary based on the eventual placement. At minimum, these dogs exhibit high level obedience skills and provide unconditional love; they may also be trained to pick up items, perform deep pressure therapy, and jump up on an exam table. Their skills vary depending on the final placement in a healthcare, education, or corporate setting. Some dogs may be trained to put their head in the laps of children while they read. Other dogs will be trained to provide love and stay calm with patients during exams or treatment. While there are no formal requirements of a Facility Dog, we partner with local dog trainers that use force-free, positive reinforcement training philosophies and who are certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® (CCPDT), the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. All our dogs go through therapy dog training and must successfully pass the Canine Good Citizen exam.
  • How is a Facility Dog different than a Service Dog?
    According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), “a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability”. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. Under the ADA, state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is allowed to go (ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Service Animals). A Facility Dog is placed at a location/facility and is trained to do many tasks and interacts with multiple people during their workday. For example, a Facility Dog working at an educational facility may visit with children with learning differences as they work on their lessons to love, motivate, calm, and interact with the children. Facility Dogs do not have public access under the Americans with Disabilities Act; therefore, Facility Dogs can only go where dogs are permitted and where permission has been granted by the facility.
  • What types of dogs does FIDOS use?
    FIDOS’ breed of choice is the standard poodle. We love their overall temperament, intelligence, loyalty, and their low or non-shed coat.
  • Where do FIDOS Facility Dogs come from?
    We partner with responsible breeders to obtain healthy dogs with great temperaments. Luna and Lady Liberty, our newest addition to the FIDOS family, come from Fitzgerald Standard Poodles in Jasper, Alabama ((2) Fitzgerald Standard Poodles | Facebook). Our future goal is to have our own breeding program so that we can continue to provide high quality, healthy dogs to our recipients.
  • Is there a cost for a FIDOS Facility Dog?
    Organizations interested in obtaining a FIDOS Facility Dog will make a donation to our nonprofit that covers the initial cost of the dog, food and treats, veterinarian services, insurance, and training. This cost is estimated to be $12,000. There are many ways to fundraise to support your goals of having a Facility Dog.
  • What types of places can FIDOS Facility Dogs be placed?
    Healthcare facilities (e.g., inpatient and outpatient hospitals, doctor’s offices) Education facilities (e.g., universities and colleges, private and public K-12 schools, other non-profit organizations offering educational services) Non-profit organizations serving special populations (e.g., physical and mental health facilities) Corporate facilities (e.g., law firms)
  • Does having a Facility Dog preclude other types of animal assisted therapy at my facility?
    Having a Facility Dog does NOT preclude having other types of animal assisted therapy at your location. For example, other animals may visit the facility and offer their services to patients, students, etc. The difference is that many of the volunteer animal assisted therapy organizations have specific days that they visit the facility. The Facility Dogs are present during the work week and their handler works at the facility. Both types of therapy animals can easily co-exist and provide many benefits to the people they serve.
  • What is the Application Process?
    It takes 18 months to train a Facility Dog and we begin that process at 8-10 weeks. Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are available online but you are strongly encouraged to meet with FIDOS Facility Dogs representatives prior to submitting your application. We can help you determine if this is the best option for incorporating animal assisted therapy into your organization. Contact Kelly at or 205-354-3285.
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