Tuesday, April 21, 2015
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Latest News from Retrieving Independence

Graduation Class of October 2014

Graduates include epileptic and non-epileptic seizure response dogs, diabetic alert dogs, and mobility assistance dogs.  Recipients include people with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Tourette’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Huntington’s.


On October 19,2014, six new assistance dog teams graduated.   After 18 months of intense training, our service dogs attained incredible skills needed to assist their new owners with various conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, Tourette’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy.  These dogs will allow their new partners to go far beyond the limitations their disability might normally have placed on them. The dogs respond to more than 100 commands.  Even more amazing, they know complex "chains" of actions to respond to a variety of life threatening events without commands from their human partner. For example:


Who We Are

We would like to introduce Retrieving Independence (RI), a Tennessee non-profit organization located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.   We have been breeding, training and placing service dogs for people with disabilities since 2006.  At the age of 18-24 months of age and with more than 120 hours of advanced skills training, our dogs are placed with children and adults with a disability to perform a wide variety of highly skilled tasks specifically geared to assist these individuals in living a fuller and more independent life.

Beautiful Lab puppies looking out of station wagon

Weekend Puppy Furlough Families

Liz and John, Puppy RaisersBoth obedience training and socialization are vitally important in the upbringing of puppies in training to be service dogs. Retrieving Independence trains prison inmates to provide the obedience training of their puppies.  However, the puppies require more socializing than they can receive in a prison environment.

The Weekend Puppy Furlough program fills this void. They take the puppies to activities that are not available in prison: car rides, movie theatres, festivals, the mall, childrens’ ball games, etc.  The Puppy Furlough Families have the puppies from Friday afternoon until Sunday night, when they are returned to the prison to resume training with their handlers.


Serving with Canines

Service Dog Capabilities

All dogs cannot do all things, but with proper dog selection and proper training, service dogs can complete many tasks that improve the quality of life for many physically and psychologically disabled individuals.



Excitement and Change at Retrieving Independence

At Retrieving Independence (RI), change is in the wind.   A new program has been initiated that we want to tell all our friends about.  This new program is called “Serving with Canines”.   The goal of this program is to train prison inmates to train service dogs allowing us to provide more dogs to meet the growing need of people with disabilites in Tennessee.

We will be able to take advantage of our successful dog  breeding program, while providing a fulfilling job for prisoners in our state.   Nationally, prison programs have demonstrated that inmates are able to provide more consistent training at a higher level than is possible in the traditional puppy raiser setting. This insures a higher success rate, which will help us to meet our goal.



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WE LOVE PETMEDS!  or  We give our pets all the love, attention, pet medications, and veterinary care and help they need.

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We have been able to finally get a dog for our son, and Retrieving Independence helped us get a dog sooner than if we had to be put on a waiting list.

  • Dorothy May
  • Bloomberg, IL
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