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Freedom Service Dogs of America growing in new digs

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DENVER -- Freedom Service Dogs of America was founded 30 years ago by husband and wife Michael and P.J. Roche.

It all started because of a car crash that left Michael partially paralyzed.

"They had a rescued border collie named Oreo and they realized that Oreo could learn how to do some things that could be helpful to Michael," said Erin Conley, Freedom Service Dogs of America spokeswoman.

Out of necessity the Roches, trained dogs for Michael to survive. They soon realized they were on to something.

Since then, more than 350 dogs have been trained and placed with clients.

"They are free of charge." said Michele Ostrander, Freedom Service Dogs of America president and CEO.

The dogs come in all shapes and sizes.

"The majority of our dogs come from shelters and rescue groups. So you will see service dogs of all different types," Ostrander said.

And their new, huge, two-floor facility in Englewood is like Dove Valley for dogs.

"It's 22,000 square feet of training. We have an amazing outdoor space. We have much more kennel space for our dogs, and we can serve more people," Ostrander said.

Of course, Zipper is in the limelight now, but that little guy hopefully will be a link in the chain of amazing dogs from an amazing organization.