Sandy (then named Zena) came into our program in 2013 through the sponsorship of Ranch & Coast Magazine. We adopted her as a 1.5 year old Shepherd mix from Rancho Coastal Humane Society where she had been adopted and returned three times after being an “owner surrender” by her first owners for separation anxiety and dog reactivity. Unfortunately, Sandy’s behaviors were being misunderstood, and she was longing for someone to see her for who she was. She needed a new life with a job and a purpose, and she found it with us! Sandy was a phenomenal service dog in training for our program, and among the favorites of all of our volunteer staff. Sandy is now well adjusted, very obedient, and extremely beneficial to the recovery of her veteran handler, Tom.

Tom applied to our program in early 2014, but because of his diagnosis and things he was working through at the time, he took over a year to complete his application process. Once he had the opportunity to meet our dogs in training, he was committed. After a few weeks, he met his match in Sandy, and the two began their training program together which would last about 4 months before graduating on August 1, 2015. Today, Tom and Sandy have a great life together. Sandy helps Tom get out of the house and has helped him ease into public settings. Tom has become a more active part of his family here in San Diego, and he thanks Sandy for the confidence she has given him.

Other Success Stories

  • Ben and Tank 2 - grad day

    Ben + Tank

    San Diego, CA

    Tank came into our program in June 2014 through the sponsorship of The Wintercreek Foundation. Ben applied to our program in the Spring of 2015, and was perhaps one of our most driven applicants.

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  • story3

    James + Calver

    San Diego, CA

    Calver is a 3 year-old, male standard schnauzer. His dad, James, applied to Shelter to Soldier and was approved to be a recipient due to his diagnosis of TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

    Learn more

  • story4

    Vic + Kira

    San Diego, CA

    Kira is a loving 4 year old female labrador/pit mix. She was rescued just in time to allow her the opportunity to live a happy, loving and purposeful life.

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