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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Alpha K9 Service Program

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans, Victims Services

Mission: Alpha K9 is a Combat Disabled Veteran run Non-Profit organization dedicated to the principle of providing highly skilled and effective Service Dogs and Working Dogs to those whose lives depend on them. Decades of military service and real world experience has allowed the Alpha K9 team to witness firsthand the difficulties Veterans and those with Emotional Disabilities face. These experiences are the driving force behind the organization and the reason we adhere to the highest standards of training and ethics in the industry.

Results: What We've Achieved So Far 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Orgnization 2014 & 2013 KCRA A-List Winner for Top Dog Training in Northern California 2014 Recognized as Subject Matter Experts for the California State Senate 2014 Presidential Volunteer Service Award; Obama Administration 2013, placed 208 dogs across 12 states and Canada

Target demographics: Veterans with PTSD.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 208 Veterans recieve Service Dogs

Geographic areas served: Sacramento

Programs: Dog training programs that fund service dogs and other fundraisers.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6 Kevin81

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization was started because my brother needed a PTSD Service Dog due to trauma from multiple combat deployments, other places were trying to rip him off so I called the ADA to find out the truth about service dogs. With my background running parts of the military's K9 program I trained his Service Dog. Sine then Alpha K9 had trained hundreds of Service Dogs for Veterans across the country including Canada. I love the dedication and relentless devotion to our mission from the staff and volunteers. Even if you do not need a Service Dog people should come by just to visit a place dedicated to integrity and doing the hard right over the easy wrong.

4

Client Served

Rating: 1

When you invest over $5,000 into anything, Iet alone a non-profit, to aid in your disability I'm sure you'd expect a high amount of quality in the help you're receiving. I can say the most that's come from this donation (let's call a spade a spade) is a great dog that was rescued.

I came to Alpha K9 in the early stages for help. I'm not a veteran, but my PTSD is debilitating none the less. Working for non profits for over a decade, I understand the ups and downs. However, when you are relying on someone to provide you with the assistance needed to function in the outside world with a service dog, and spending thousands of dollars to do so, there is no excuse for poor work. That's like having a wheel chair with one wheel.

Alpha K9 grew by leaps and bounds from the empty industrial garage into a large training facility with all the bells and whistles during the few years I was there. The training did not. My Service dog was never K9 Good Citizen certified while I trained there, though stated in my contract. She has no defined tasks to aid in my disability, though the contract states she should. I could go on and on about the correspondence my wife and I have had with admin and Alpha K9, but that too is poor. Yet, my family has had to chalk the thousands of dollars we don't have as a donation to a non profit that we apparently help fund, but to the benefit of the organization only.

I had to draw the line when staff determine that some of their clients are faking disabilities, while also behaving exceptionally unprofessional around my children.

Fortunately I've moved forward and have a service dog that not only meets the ADA requirements, but exceeds them. After being evaluated by a handful of other organizations and trainers, my Alpha K9 service dog is enjoying a life at home.

10

Client Served

Rating: 1

This is very hard to write. I want everyone to know I tried to communicate with this organization via phone and email to the office staff and the CEO multiple times and got no response. I received a service dog March 2015 which had medical conditions. I agreed to take the dog and continue at Alpha K9's vet until his medical condition was taken care of. I was told during my individual training sessions that Alpha K9 had stopped working with their current vet and would get me in touch with their new vet. Evertime we went in it was acknowledge my dog had medical conditions. He was completely shaved down because of this and under weight. I took my dog to my vet in the meantime because his condition worsened and staff saw this and many consulted on how to handle this but didn't have a vet in place for us to go to. I only received 5 private sessions which covered basic commands which we already knew and was told the group classes would be where we worked on further training. I called to speak to the CEO about the medical bills that were staking up and my dogs continued condition. I had been assured by the CEO when I took the dog this medical condition would be covered and they were worried about placing him because it was so bad. When I called I was told the CEO was very busy and not to expect a call back anytime soon and that I would have to go after their old vet for the costs and not to expect to to be reimbursed. I was also told my dog couldn't attend group classes due to his health issues until all health issues were cleared up. I emailed all documentation along with vet notes and asked for a response. I waited a month later, tried to call, no answer and I then re-emailed the general mail box and the CEO directly simply asking to have a conversation about this. Three weeks later I still haven't heard anything and have a dog that has medical issues and whose training isn't continuing. I respect what they are doing but feel my situation is very unfortunate. I love my dog and I will continue to provide the proper medical care but feel when I was guaranteed this would be taken care of I thought that would honor their word. I wish them all of the best and hope they with this issue in the proper manner for all parties involved.

8

Client Served

Rating: 1

Alpha K9 is probably the worst service dog company ever. The CEO of the company only trains dogs to the bare minimum requirements for a service dog and is only in the business for the public recognition and money (I doubt this company is "non-profit"). Their customer service is horrible since they take weeks (if that) to respond to an email and they do not take anything into consideration, especially if you have already paid for the service dog. I have notified the staff many times about my dog's behavior condition (the company procured him from an animal shelter) and that I needed their help to correct his behavior, since they gave me free training for my dog for the rest of my dog's life, but all I get from a response by the staff is 'There is no specific behavior standard a service dog should act in public' and as well as "smarta**" remarks. I regret that I have gone through this so called "company". Don't get a service dog from them!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We took our pit bull puppy to Alpha K9 Service for training. She was very headstrong and did not mind well at all. The trainer we worked with was familiar with the bully breeds and helped us a lot. We did 6 weeks training and it was amazingly helpful. She actually helped "train" my husband and I as well as the dog. We needed help with our training techniques too. I would highly recommend using Alpha K9 for all of your training needs. The people were knowledgeable, very helpful and it was hands on training. And their prices are reasonable as well.

4 Gemily W.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I came in to Alpha K9 broken, just recently and tragically lost my service dog of 7years seeking help to do right with my new pup for she can become my new service dog. They took me in, helped me train her and work her through her growing stages, in no time she became officially a service dog.
I liked working with Alpha K9, I'm a very picky person and I say they are better than the other service trainers I worked with in the past with my other dog.

3 OmarSultan

Donor

Rating: 5

The cause is near and dear to my heart. At the end of the day, I choose to commit my support behind Alpha K9 for two main reasons:

1) Kevin is a definitive expert in this area so I have a high degree of surety that the program is effective and vets are getting dogs properly trained to support the needs. I will contrast this with other organizations I investigated where the folks had good hearts and good intentions but did not have the program or instructor quality to be able to follow through on their intent.

2) The program is ridiculously lean, so more of my support goes directly to support the program. Because of their cost structure they can put a service dog in the hands of a vet at SIGNIFICANTLY lower program cost then other programs I investigated which means my support has greater impact--i.e. more vets helped.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started going to alpha k9 for my senior project and enjoyed it so much that I've been volunteering there for about a year now. They go out of their way to get things done for the client and they help save lives.

Clar R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Trainers are great. My 6'month old GSD and I are learning the skills for her to b a
Great dog

Client Served

Rating: 5

I brought my German Shorthair Pointer "Sedona" whose nickname is "Wild Women" to Alpha K9 for training. I ended up obtaining an electronic collar and 5 lessons so I could make sure she's under control & safe when were out on a walk or out on one of our outdoor adventures. Sedona was obedient before but had her wild moments! With the electronic collar and our 5 lessons Sedona had a better understanding that I was her master and she needed to behave.

Thank you Alpha K9! Sometimes I use the electronic collar and/or a leash and sometimes she is free to roam. A German Shorthair Pointer needs to get out and run and with our training I know that she'll always be nearby & will come to me when I call her. Sedona & I are out and about now enjoying our adventures.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Alpha k9 has done wonders for my neurotic Basenji. I started experiencing some behavior issues with my dog and sought out help in managing his unsociable temperament. I found the staff extremely knowledgeable, experienced, flexible, and honest. I could see modifications in my dog's behavior immediately. I've enjoyed working with the trainers and people at Alpha K9 and would definitely recommend their services for all training needs--from basic to more advanced/specialized.

1 Will R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While being one the other side of the US, ALPHA K9 been the only one willing to assist me. They explain everything in a manor in which I can understand and comprehend. They are extremely personably group who does amazing work.

2 Benjamin11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I returned from my final deployment with the U.S. Army in March, and after 10.5 years of multiple deployments around the globe, I decided to find something else to do with my life that also made me feel fulfilled. I found Alpha K9 at a Yellow Ribbon event hosted for returning soldiers, and Kevin Cameron was there to introduce Alpha K9 with his dog Dasko. I had no idea something like Alpha K9 existed, a company with the sole purpose of serving anyone with PTSD or other issues by training their dogs to be constant and unbiased companions.

Then I found out that Alpha K9 served the local community, and also trained personal pets as well in order to help families become whole with a well behaved dog as a beloved member of that family. Since that day in June 2014, I have been volunteering daily at Alpha K9, and have become an Apprentice Trainer. Alpha K9 has become my first home. I don't suffer from my constant issues which stem from my PTSD while there, and not only is it a safe place for me...its somewhere that I get to help my brothers and sisters who suffer with the same issues that I do. I wake up every day with a desire to go to the Alpha K9 facility, and I go to sleep every night feeling proud of the work that I accomplished! Where else in this world can a person say that?

Thank you Alpha K9 for the countless Vets that you've helped and will continue to help; the numerous families that you've touched and will continue to touch; and all of the lives you've changed. Especially mine.

David170

Client Served

Rating: 5

Experienced trainers that customized the training to the dog’s abilities. Use only positive training methods. Nice indoor facility with all the equipment needed to train in agility, rally and obedience. Best place in Sacramento, CA to take your dogs for everything from puppy socialization classes to reactive dog classes and everything in between. The variety of classes are amazing. The facility is clean, new, comfortable. The prices are affordable. I am super happy and highly recommend everyone to train here. This facility was recommended to me by a Government facility. I took their advice I am glad I did. The best part they take care of the wounded soldiers by providing them with a service dog.

Jaime12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a German Shepherd who had severe behavioral problems. I had been through two other local dog trainers who assured me the behavioral problems were a thing of the past and he was 100% fixed. I assure you all the problems were still very much in effect. I took my dog to Alpha K9 for try number 3. The staff was honest with me and let me know that the underlying problems were a part of my dogs personality, and he would never be "fixed." But, they did teach me how to manage and correct the behaviors. My dog was a completely different dog within a few sessions and a lot of homework. I cannot say enough good things about Alpha K9 about the respect I have for the Kevin Cameron and his staff. Great group of people who truly care about the dogs.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a very smart, very protective and somewhat erratic German Shepherd. Thanks to alpha K9 her behavior has steadily improved and she has become a wonderful dog.

1 Delores W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My yellow lab puppy, Abby, started with the traditional treat based training. I realized early on that she was going to need something a bit more structured. Abby is your typical lab with a wiggle butt, gotta jump up on your face and bark at you kind of puppy.

AlphaK9 was the best decision I made regarding her training. The first thing I noticed was that there were no treats. Her reward for good work was praise and encouragement. And Susan Newell (our trainer) worked with me on "the Mommy Voice" when I needed to be more firm. Suzie would always take time to ask about Abby's progress and we would go over what needed more attention. More often than not it was "me" that was not giving Abby proper commands correctly. Suzie was patient and persistent with me.

Today Abby still show signs of a lab puppy but she has improved tremendously. She is calmer, more obedient and doesn't jump on people. She will actually sit while I am talking to someone. The wiggle butt thing pops up occasionally but it is manageable.

I highly recommend AlphaK9 to anyone that wants to bring out the best in their dog.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was experiencing issues with another organization who trained my service dog. They are in Colorado so it was really difficult getting the help that I needed. AlphaK9 evaluated my dog and my situation and recommended a great strategy. Together we are bringing ME up to speed on what I need to know about my dog and how we can help her to be the best service dog for me. Kevin is compassionate and yet to the point. He told me exactly what I was dealing with and I appreciate his straightforward approach. Tarra is very organized and accommodating. We started training one on one with Mauve and now we have moved into the group sessions. I just can't recommend Alpha K9 enough. I love the atmosphere, and the attitudes. When we come in my dog knows that she is ready to work.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I met Terra and Kevin of Alpha K9 at the Puppy show I had never heard of a PTSD Service dog. They both spoke to me about different problems many service men and women faced coming home. I watched my husband deal with many of these symptoms every day. We agreed to meat up the following week and asses our dog Willow who we had just adopted as a companion animal. She became so much more. Our wiggly little pit bull is now his constant companion. Helping alleviate stress and keeping everybody calm. Working with Kevin was so comfortable for my husband because as I like to say "he speaks military". He understood where we were coming from and there was no judgment. We loved working with the crew at Alpha K9. They had a great attitude and most importantly they worked. Willow excelled under their direction. I can't believe she is the same dog we adopted from the SPCA. We have learned so much and found great friends. We could not have had a better experience. They have changed out lives and we will b forever grateful.

-Katherine
a.k.a Willow's mom

Megan R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I met Alpha K9 at the hunt expo in Sacramento. I have hunting dogs that are well trained but I needed help building a better relationship with my dogs and building up my own self confidence with them. Several of the other trainers I met at the expo wanted to focus on just training the dogs, which is not what my dogs really needed. Alpha K9 worked to train me and my dogs at the same time. They would explain why and how they wanted me to interact with my dogs, but let me do all the physical work. This was just what I needed and my dogs. I feel that my relationship and control/respect has grown tremendously in the time I have had Alpha K9 staff guiding me.