4 Peace Sake Wellness Center

Veteran Heroes. Shelter Dogs.
We Put Them Together and Save Two Lives at Once!

SUPPORT THE CAUSE

About Us

Ken Cappello saw a need. He saw his military brothers and sisters suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other post-war disabilities. At the same time, large numbers of dogs were being euthanized each year in our local shelters.

The idea? To save loyal, capable dogs from the shelters and train them to provide companionship and perform necessary tasks for our local heroes. Ranger Service Dog Training was born.

Ranger Service Dog Training was founded by Ken Cappello in memory of a young combat veteran Stephen Akins. Stephen endured four combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan sustaining multiple traumatic brain injuries. He managed to return from war but felt overwhelmed and ultimately took his life as a direct result of PTSD. After Stephen’s death, Ken Cappello determined that PTSD—the major killer of our returned troops—must be stopped.

Ken established Ranger Service Dogs, an American nonprofit organization that takes dogs from animal shelters and trains them into service dogs for veterans experiencing PTSD related to traumatic military experiences.

Rescuing Shelter Dogs

A dog up on a wooden bench looking over a lake while the dogs owner stands holding the leash watching the dog

All of our dogs come from local shelters or rescue groups. As they are not all capable of being service dogs, they receive an extensive evaluation. If they do not make it through training, we find a loving forever home for them.

Ranger Dog Training works with these rescued dogs, addressing behavior problems such as jumping, nipping, or any other issues they are exhibiting. These prospective service dogs will go through an intense training class to help our veterans start a new career in the dog training field.

Initially, the dogs are placed in foster homes where they are socialized and acclimated to home life and public and social surroundings. When they are ready, they are paired with a veteran who trains them under our supervision and direction. The process takes approximately 18 months, but the veterans becomes involved with his or her dog early on.

Rescuing US Veterans

group of 3 older army veterans with their arms around each other smiling for a picture

At Ranger Service Dogs, we believe that our country owes our heroes a debt of gratitude. In turn, training animals as service dogs has proven to be extremely valuable to both vets and shelter dogs.

Currently, it takes two years and $36,000 to train a service dog for a veteran. In the meantime, most of these veterans are unable to work and welcome immediate companionship and activity. Our goal is to reduce the cost and training time of a service dog by teaching veterans to train their dogs. At the same time, we provide them with much needed comradeship and sense of purpose.

Spending time with a loving animal can lessen their stress. Shelter dogs get a second chance at life while offering our returned vets a second chance at health and welfare. The ties of companionship and care established between people and animals work to ease the suffering of our men and women when they come back from abroad.

Request an Application

All veterans will need to fill out the adjacent interest form. If you meet the basic program requirements, you will be sent a more detailed application for review by our application committee. Upon completion, a meeting will be scheduled where we will go over the details of the program. The veteran must be able to commit to 18 months and demonstrate the ability to provide good care (including veterinary care) for the dog. If it is ever determined that a dog is being mistreated, we will retrieve the dog and find a new owner.

Success Stories

Army

Zane And Trooper

Army
Army

Roger And Ranger

Army

How Do I Help?

While donations are necessary to provide the dogs with veterinary care, equipment, and training, we welcome volunteer support in all areas: from foster care to caring for dogs under evaluation to fundraising. Ultimately, our goal is to build a community network.

We rely solely on kindness and the giving nature of others, so we're happy to have you join us in any way. Currently, our needs are greatest in the area of foster parenting. Foster parents must have the ability to keep a dog in their home and dedicate time to its socialization. This means introducing the dog to all types of environments such as parks, stores, streets, etc. At the same time, the dog will need to be trained basic obedience skills such as "sit" and "stay." Foster parents will be required to attend group training.

Join Our Team

Volunteers play a vital role to our organization family because they help in the success of the program. The talent provided by our volunteers helps us to continue our mission of saving two lives at once by providing a service dog to military veterans who are suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress. There are many ways you can be a part of the rewarding process of turning shelter dogs into confident and mature Service Dogs for a Veteran suffering from PTSD.

Of course, you do not have to be a dog handler at all to help. Do you enjoy organizing and promoting events, asking for gift donations, writing grants, graphic design, or just helping? Do you have a talent for working with other volunteers to promote events, bolster awareness, and increase donations?

Volunteer Interest Form

Ranger Service Dog has many volunteer opportunities.

We are looking for individuals who care about our Veterans and shelter dogs who are suffering. We are looking for:

  • New Board of Directors
  • Liaison to schools and canine shelters
  • Fundraising Manager
  • Marketing Assistance
  • Upkeep of the new training center
  • And much more!

To become a volunteer, simply fill out the application and someone will contact you.

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