The Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military veterans through the assistance of well bred and highly trained service dogs. Additionally, the Puppy Jake Foundation will focus and provide resources for the advocacy and awareness, as well as the acceptability and convenience in public, for those that require the assistance of a service dog. The Foundation is based in Des Moines, IA.
Service Dogs for Veterans of the US Armed Services
The demand and waiting list for service dogs for our veterans of the US Armed Services suffering from the invisible injuries of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or physical mobility issues is extensive and growing by the day. The healing benefit of a service dog to assist our veterans is sound and extremely beneficial to those that have given so freely to serve our country.
The Puppy Jake Foundation will purchase high quality, pure bred puppies from reputable breeders; Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. Volunteers will raise the puppies with the majority of expenses paid by the Foundation.
The puppies will have a very structured training environment and schedule. All puppies will attend regular training classes and will be evaluated every month to be sure they’ve met their goals and milestones.
Trained medical professionals in conjunction with military organizations will conduct the selection of recipient veterans that will receive a service dog. The veteran and trained service dog will together attend a 10-14 day camp to ensure the human/dog match and bond is strong and the transition works well for each.
After 2 years of raising a service puppy, the frequent difficulties of having a service dog with me were apparent:
The Puppy Jake Foundation will work on areas of accessibility, advocacy and awareness regarding the need and legality of the role of service dogs, simultaneously with the raising and placing of the dogs. (As it will of course, take two years for the first dogs to be placed.)
The first significant and specific project on the accessibility front, will be the development and construction of service dog relief areas in up to 10 airport hubs throughout the country. In working with Federal officials, Airport Authorities, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) organizations and other veterans advocates, the goal is to have these relief areas constructed in the next 12-18 months.
Continued awareness and education will be ongoing.
While the mission of the Puppy Jake Foundation is the training and placing of service dogs with members of the US Armed Forces, the benefit of therapy dogs in crisis and disaster situations is significant and important as well.
The Puppy Jake Foundation will offer testing and serve as a regional pool of qualified dogs that would be available on a moment’s notice to assist communities in a crisis situation (for example: Newtown School shooting).
It is estimated that each service dog, from birth to placement, is between $20,000 and $25,000. The cost per service dogs includes the purchasing of the puppy, veterinarian services, crates, insurance, extensive and rigorous training and food. In order to accomplish the mission of the Puppy Jake Foundation, there will be an aggressive fund raising effort including:
While a trained service dog is expensive, it pales in comparison to the cost of what the veteran, the member of the US Armed Services, has given for our individual freedom and the freedom for our country.