Paws with a Purpose

OUTdrive Episode 108: Paws with a Purpose

OUTdrive Episode 108 with Kyle Cory-Yaeggi and Laura Erganian

They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but for some individuals, their dog is a lifeline. Right here in rural America, we are privileged to have a nationally recognized organization and facility dedicated to raising, training, and placing service dogs with people in need. In this episode of OUTdrive, I sit down with Kyle Cory-Yaeggi, Operations Director, and Laura Erganian, Fund Development Coordinator, from Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

Retrieving Freedom is a non-profit organization with a mission to change lives through the training and placement of service dogs for veterans with disabilities and children with autism. The organization operates out of two Midwest locations, Waverly, Iowa, and Sedalia, Missouri as an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International. Retrieving Freedom is recognized nationally for its unique training methods and exceptional quality of its 117 service dog placements.

Tune into this episode of OUTdrive to hear more about the passion and comprehensive processes behind Retrieving Freedom’s national service dog placement program.


  • 1:45 – Kyle and Laura talk about their background and how their career journey led them to Retrieving Freedom
  • 4:15 – Kyle and Laura share their passion for the non-profit industry
  • 5:30 – Kyle gives an in-depth overview of Retrieving Freedom, from their mission to their training program to the placement process
  • 12:15 – Kyle explains how Retrieving Freedom’s extensive processes were developed and notes their multiple locations
  • 14:00 – Kyle and Laura talk about the responsibilities of their roles as Operations Director and Fund Development Coordinator
  • 15:45 – Laura talks about some of the marketing strategies that they’re using to communicate with different audiences
  • 17:45 – Kyle talks about the unique aspect of their organization being located in rural America and serving clients across the country
  • 19:15 – Kyle explains some of the challenges of training and placing service dogs and how the community can support them through time, talent and treasure
  • 21:00 – Kyle shares the origin story of Retrieving Freedom
  • 23:00 – Kyle explains the decision of their organization to utilize Labradors and Golden Retrievers, and how they place dogs that don’t end up graduating from service training
  • 26:00 – Laura talks about some of the ways that someone could find more information about receiving services from Retrieving Freedom or making a donation
  • 27:45 – Kyle and Laura share the summer volunteer opportunities and the annual public events Retrieving Freedom has coming up, as well as details on their upcoming graduation ceremonies
  • 33:00 – Kyle and Laura talk about what they love about living in rural America and how they would characterize the Midwest
  • 37:00 – Kyle and Laura share some of the marketing and media channels that they utilize as a consumer in rural America
  • 39:45 – Kyle recommends Assistance Dogs International as a resource for someone looking for more information on the service dog industry
  • 41:00 – Kyle offers closing remarks on the Retrieving Freedom staff