"The day I received Junior I was able to stop taking 3 psychotropic medications the VA has prescribed. I have stayed off of those medications for the last two months. I swear it’s like Junior has been able to heal things which no other resource could heal. For the past two months I have traveled to 30 state parks and interacted with numerous people. I don’t know if I would have been able to do this if I didn’t have Junior. Every morning I wake up to his panting tongue licking my face. In contrast to many days when I would have stayed in bed before, I now am excited to start my day with my best friend. He is my little healer, best friend, and gives me so many other things which I can’t even describe. Thank you for saving my life.”
"My name is Carl Colarusso. I'm retired Army with 25 years of service. I have PTSD in addition to numerous other health problems. Recently the Army sent my Son home with an honorable discharge because he was ill. He cut his head in a blast which never healed. So I moved my Son to my home in SC. Our VA here in Myrtle Beach also diagnosed him with PTSD. They did a chest MRI and swore that nothing was wrong. I was a medic 25 years and a 91 C medical specialist. Therefore, I could see the fluid sacks around his heart, kidneys and liver. When my Son passed away soon after, it sent me in a downward spiral. I was just waiting to die. But one evening my wife (Beth) and I were watching the local news, and a short clip about Freedom Fidos was on. I called the phone number that they gave. It was the call that changed my life forever. I had been trying to get a service dog, from different agencies for 18 years. The going price was six thousand dollars or more. Other organizations wanted me to come to their location to help them raise the funds which was not a possibility due to my medical conditions. However, Freedom Fidos came to my house and was true to their advertising, which stated it was FREE. Matt Burgess, founder/ lead trainer and a disabled Vet himself, came to my home. We spoke and he evaluated my Chesapeake Bay retriever. We worked until Gunner was 9 months old. During this process Matt also took Gunner into his own pack to continue Gunners training. I now feel good about myself, and those around me. We are honored to be able to tell you that due to our experience with Freedom Fidos and Mr. Matt Burgess, that our 7 month old Chesapeake Bay retriever has been transformed from a puppy to a dog of dignified stature. Our dog, Gunner, is now a working companion to help keep me calm and centered. I suffer from many back problems and am listed as 100% PTSD from the VA.
I feel that I have been given a new lease on life. Everywhere we go, from Dr. offices to grocery stores or group therapy at the VA, Freedom Fidos and Matt are on our lips. We can't tell enough people how Matt has transformed our lives. Gunner does all that he is asked or expected of him and more. Whether it be walking with my wife Beth around the neighborhood or assisting to my needs and providing aid and comfort to me when I am stressed, receive numerous benefits from Gunner.
My health has greatly improved including weight loss, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels from my time spent with Gunner. We would like to thank Freedom Fidos and Matt for still serving those of us who served our country.
God Bless America." Carl and Beth Colarusso U.S. Army Ret.
"Wow, I am so happy and excited to find Freedom Fidos. I have been trying for 1.5 years to get my dog, Jethro, trained to be my service dog. Many organizations wanted to give me one of their dogs but wouldn't train my dog. The ones that would train Jethro wanted $4000-8000 even though they said it was free to Veterans. Freedom Fidos is a "NO BS", no fee, for Veterans. He trains Jethro 2-3 times a week with GREAT improvement. I had been paying $60 an hour to a previous trainer and would only get lessons twice a month. Frequently I waited over two months.. Matt is always on time and willing to be flexible with my schedule needs. I would give this "REAL" non-profit 10 star's if I could. I can’t find enough words to express how pleased I am."
"Although I received some positive results at two other service dog organizations before I found Freedom Fidos when I found this organization I found some of the benefits I experienced while I was in the Marines. Matt understands me and my needs not only as a service dog handler but also as a veteran. Recently when I informed him I was having a heart catheter, he would have been on his way to the hospital immediately if I had allowed him. He taught my dog, Croghan, things that no one else had been able to do. Other organizations taught me what to do as a service dog handler. Matt taught me how to think, which has resulted in me getting positive feedback about Croghan every time I am in public. During a recent three day stay in the hospital, Croghan behaved so well that he became the nurse’s favorite, leaving me a little envious. Matt, and Freedom Fidos has become like family to me."
"A special thanks to Matt Burgess for providing this wonderful dog named Bronson to our son Austin. Matt was able to rescue Bronson from an abusive owner where he suffered much physical and emotional abuse .Austin likewise endured a difficult first several years of his life where he was the victim of both physical and emotional abuse. He was removed from that abusive home life and placed with our family. Austin was adopted into our family along with his sister Trinity. Matt with his keen sense of understanding dogs was able to see an instant connection between the two. He was very gracious in providing Bronson to Austin. The two have become simply inseparable .They have impacted each other’s life in a most remarkable way, Austin has multiple orthopedic issues that will need medical intervention in the near future as well as ongoing emotional support. The improvement we have seen in Austin since Bronson entered his life is just amazing. An old poet once said that a dog can somehow sense the innermost workings of the human heart. They both seem to understand the travails the other has endured. Their bond and connection has succeeded all of our expectations. Thanks again Matt. for your graciousness, your service to our country and most of all your friendship. God Bless."
"We are honored to be able to tell you that due to our experience with Freedom Fidos and Mr. Matt Burgess, that our 7 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever has been transformed from a puppy to a dog of dignified stature.
Our dog, Gunner, is now a working companion to help keep me calm and centered. I suffer from many back problems and am listed as 100% PTSD from the VA. I feel that I have been given a new lease on life. Everywhere we go, from Dr's offices to grocery stores or group therapy at the VA, Freedom Fido’s and Matt are on our lips. We can't tell enough people how Matt has transformed our lives.
Gunner does all that he is asked or expected of him and more. Whether it be walking with my wife Beth around the neighborhood or assisting to my needs and providing aid and comfort to me when I am stressed I receive numerous benefits from Gunner. My health has greatly improved including weight loss, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels from my time spent with Gunner.
We would like to thank Freedom Fido’s and Matt for still serving those of us who served our country.
God Bless America."
Carl and Beth Colarusso U.S. Army Ret.
"A great organization for our disabled Veterans at no cost to them, please follow this great disabled Veteran and what he gives back to his fellow Veterans."
Kathy Vesey Maupin
"We love the training we are receiving from Freedom Fido’s it’s the best we recommend you check it out."
Cynthia Kolb Hawley
"Freedom Fido’s is so awesome this page isn’t big enough for me to write. I do know his dedication to his fellow disabled Veteran’s is a service to our Veteran’s on the Grand Strand."
"Amazing group of people with HUGE hearts! We are beyond excited to be part of building awareness this year! Grateful for your service and grateful that you all are saving lives of animals in order to provide service dogs to Wounded Warriors and Veterans! Thanks for all you do!" Brandie Jean Turner
"Matt, I wanted to take the time to let you know that I'm immensely grateful to you for your dedication to helping veterans by placing them with service dogs. I also wanted to thank you and commend you on wanting to make sure that Chelsea was trained for the purposes that I needed. You, you were so right: I am NOT disappointed. We are perfectly matched. I love her so much already and I'm truly grateful to you for choosing her for me. Thank you for listening to that inner voice and that intuition that let Chelsea to me and me to her. God Bless You and Freedom Fidos for the lives you change." Michelle Poitier
"Your patience & dedication to Veterans is outstanding. Your calm and reassuring attitude has greatly helped me as a person. I feel better about myself, just talking about whatever with you in contrast to my civilian therapist & VA voodoo doctors, who pass out pills, and expect you to cope... Also the souls of those that have gone before us, made the most ultimate sacrifice, and gave their Lives for all of us, know your name Matt. You've helped so many Vets. You're in front of the hordes of Souls leading the charge, against self-righteousness & greed.. Your friends Carl & Beth......
Thank you more than I could EVER say, for the life changing benefits my son has been blessed with from Freedom Fidos when he received his dog, Junior from your service dog program! What an amazing difference you have made in his life! Many prayers of thanks coming your way and prayers to bless those lives you will touch when they receive their new " life partner " from Freedom Fidos, too! (thank you) I am such a grateful, MOM." Rebecca Ceron Martin
"Love Brinks, Smoky and Tessa. Would love to see pics of all of these wonderful fur babies!! Thanks for bringing them to the shows for us to love on and help with their interaction and social skills."
Frances Bray Henry
"Amazing people, wonderful working k9s & probably the hardest working veteran to achieve his goal of simply helping the dogs and people please support and help them do just that!" Kelsey Brianna
"Great guy and Brinks is awesome. Glad they helped my husband with his service dog."
Amanda Tindall Ricker
"Amazing group of people with HUGE hearts! We are beyond excited to be part of building awareness this year! Grateful for your service and grateful that you all are saving lives of animals in order to provide service dogs to Wounded Warriors and Veterans! Thanks for all you do!"
Brandie Jean Turner
"What a wonderful thing you do! It's always a pleasure to see you and the pups at the shows! Keep up the good work, and we will see you down the road!!!"
David Albert Yoccm
"This letter is being written to express my greatest thank you to Freedom Fidos for helping me train my little Skyelar to be my service animal. I am a Viet Nam veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2013, receiving a 100 percent permanent disability from the VA for this. I needed and wanted a service animal to help me with the symptoms but all the other companies wanted thousands of dollars to train a dog for me. I met Matt thru a chance public appearance he made and discovered to my suprise that he trains dogs for FREE for veterans. He came over and evaluated my dog and trained him in 60 days. This man has a huge following and waiting list and anything that anyone can do for this organization needs to be done. They will not accept money for anything, vests, collars, etc.
Out of all the veterans organizations that claim to help veterans Freedom Fidos is a true veterans organization with ALL proceeds and donations going to acquire, house, feed and train service animal. I can not thank them enough or emphasize enough how deserving Freedom Fidos is." Robert Thompson