A new organization has been created to help provide service dogs to military veterans. Becky Beach of Des Moines is one of the creators of the “Puppy Jake Foundation.” The foundation is named after a two-year-old Labrador Retriever who is an ambassador for service dogs.
Beach says their mission is to train three breeds of dogs — Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers — to serve. “We have very rigorous schedules for the puppies and the puppy raisers, and after about 18 months to two years, we will give them to wounded members of the U-S armed services. The dogs are service dogs and they assist the recipients with mental illnesses such as PTSD,” Beach says.
Beach says she became interested in the issue because of a long history of military service among her family members. “The dogs make a tremendous difference, and the thing that we are doing a little different from some of the other programs is that we are focusing only on the military wounded veterans who have given so much to our country,” Beach says. “We are modeling after some of the national programs where we have some strict standards for the puppies we purchase.”
Beach says it costs between $15,000 to $20,000 to train one dog. “And that’s from purchasing the puppy to placing them with the military recipient, so it’s very, very expensive,” Beach says.
Beach says they would like to raise a quarter-of-a-million dollars within the next year so they can continue to expand and have the money raised before they get the dogs.
The foundation held its first fundraiser this week, and Beach says they are taking donations. “Anything, 25 dollars to — you know we’ve had donations of over five thousand dollars for this — is extremely important, because we have a lot of things we want to provide to the puppies, and we are underway now with these little guys with us,” Beach says.
You can make a donation on the organization’s website at: www.puppyjakefoundation.com