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Organizational History

In 2011, Co-Founder Scott Dewey, a seasoned field trial dog trainer, reevaluated his life plan and prayerfully decided to leave the field trial circuit for more time at home with his young sons. In addition to family needs, the idea of using his skills to support individuals with disabilities was taking shape in his mind.

Scott and Charles Dwyer began the process of forming Retrieving Freedom, Inc. (RFI), a tax-exempt 501 c 3 non-profit organization. Today, the organization is thriving and is recognized nationally for its unique training methods and exceptional quality of placements.

Guided by a national Board of Directors, RFI has committed to expanding the organization beyond its Waverly, Iowa facility by building a new headquarters and state-of-the-art training operation in Sedalia, Missouri. This expansion will allow the organization to increase its placement of service dogs and impact more members of its respective communities. Leveraging the community at large in support of its cause, RFI taps into the talent of hundreds of trained volunteers annually, impacting more than 10,000 individuals all the while training, socializing, and engaging each dog both in public and at home.

Scott transitioned out of his role as CDO in May 2020. In his letter to the public, Scott states,

“I have always said that this organization is greater than any one of us, and my goal was for it to outlive all of us. After nine years, I believe that the organization is positioned to make that a reality. My heart is so full, yet it is yearning for the challenge of new opportunities. In order to be transparent in the search of my next venture, I have decided to transition out of a staff position with Retrieving Freedom. I have faith that God’s hand is in this decision and, while anxious, believe that the next opportunity will arise. Ironically, it was a similar decision in 2011 that led me to the founding of Retrieving Freedom.”

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