Shelter to Soldier is a CA 501c3 nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other injuries associated with traumatic service experiences. Every day, 20 US veterans and 1 active duty service member are lost to suicide. That’s an average of one life lost every 69 minutes. The suicide rate among the nation’s military personnel has spiked this year, eclipsing the number of troops dying in battle and on pace to set a record annual high since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago. PTSD is a major problem for our men and women in uniform, and its effects last far and beyond the battlefield.
Every year, our nation sees approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters. More than half of those animals are dogs, at 3.9 million every year. This year alone, 1.2 million dogs will be euthanized due to space, behavioral problems, or medical complications. Many great dogs are often overlooked at shelters for behavior issues such as protest when left alone, different levels of classic separation anxiety, unruly (non-aggressive) behaviors, barking, poor house manners, and housebreaking issues. Our team of professional dog trainers are experts in behavior modification, and in most cases, are able to modify unwanted behaviors and continue to train the dogs at the elite level of service work needed for their new job. Our team’s expertise in training service dogs is unmatched in the field and provides a great platform for us to use these talents to serve our military personnel in honor of their service to our country. The sponsored service dog will serve the critical role of psychological support to his/her veteran handler.