On Veteran’s Day 2016, we hosted a very special and intimate graduation ceremony for US Army Veteran Jonathon Marroquin and his service dog, Berkeley. Berkeley’s adoption, care, housing, training and graduation were generously sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Los Angeles Charitable Foundation and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Calabasas Office.
Berkeley was rescued from a hoarding situation by San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita Shelter, where she along with 22 other dogs were housed under one roof without a single bag of food on the premises. Needless to say, Berkeley was found emaciated in in dire need of support. SDDAS Bonita Shelter provided her a new chance, and were thrilled to introduce her to us during one of our visits in Spring 2015. From the day she joined our program, she was a light that touched the hearts of our entire team. Compared to most dogs in our program, Berkeley soared through training and was one of our quickest to graduate with her veteran.
US Army Veteran Jonathon Marroquin served a tour of duty in 2006 and 2007 in Hawijah, Iraq, where his unit lost 18 soldiers. Jonathon suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder as a result of the traumatic exposure to combat in Iraq, with much difficulty in social situations. Today, with Berkeley by his side, he is making steps toward living a more comfortable life and completing his schooling. We are so proud of him.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Offices and Charitable Foundation(s) in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas have been tremendously supportive of our mission at Shelter to Soldier™. Our Founder, Graham Bloem, and Veteran Advocate and Shelter to Soldier™ service dog recipient, Vic Martin, were warmly welcomed at many offices to share our mission and Shelter to Soldier™ received an outpouring of support from the BHHS team. We are very grateful to have their support, as they have helped two dogs through our program to date, and the BHHS Los Angeles Charitable Foundation just sponsored another dog that will be adopted in early 2017, stay tuned!
Other Success Stories
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.
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)
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.