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IGY6 Service Dogs for Heroes

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Health, Mental Health

Mission: Our Story IGY6 was founded by Ken Cappello in memory of a young combat veteran Stephen Akins. He managed to return from war, but felt overwhelmed due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After Stephen’s death, Ken Cappello determined that PTSD – the major killer of our returned troops - has to be stopped. He established IGY6 - an American nonprofit organization that takes dogs from shelters and turns them into service dogs for veterans experiencing PTSD, related to traumatic military experiences. Challenge One in four veterans coming back from war goes through depression, substance abuse and even suicide. At IGY6, we believe that our country owes our heroes a debt of gratitude. In its turn, training animals as service dogs has proven to be really valuable to both vets and shelter dogs.

Results: Solution IGY6 pairs shelter dogs with returned vets. We spend 24 months and $36,000 to prepare a service dog. However, our mission is to cut the costs and reduce time by instructing returning veterans to train own pets. 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 have the ability to ease the suffering of our men and women when they come back from abroad. How to Help: Donations and Volunteers Needed ➢ Every single hour one American veteran commits suicide. The people in uniform have given so much to protect us, and it is our turn to take care of them. ➢ Every single day more than 3000 dogs are euthanized countrywide. These pets can become perfect companions but never get a chance. ➢ You have a chance to make a change. We need your donations to rescue the shelter dogs and provide them with training to ensure that they can get used to a new home that is so much different from the terrible shelter environment. Dogs require veterinary care, food, bedding, equipment and so on, and you can save an American hero and his best friend by making a donation to IGY6. Also, we are looking for friendly and enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to make a difference and help ease service dogs into new surroundings.

Target demographics: veterans with PTSD

Geographic areas served: the Georgia, Douglasville,Lithia Springs,Atlanta area

Programs: service dogs sooner and at a lower cost

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ken Cappello is a wonderful dog trainer! He helped my dog Honey overcome her lack of confidence and he taught me how to work with her in a way to engage her mind and make her a great service e dog. Love these guys!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a medical retired veteran and with the help of igy6 and the help of Ken the and opening up to Ken and his dog Zoey has helped me get through some of my roughest days. He has been able to get me to adjust to crowds along the help of Zoey. Before hand I couldn’t do that adjustment without the help of both of them.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a vetrin with several disabilities from hearing loss, acute lung problemd and balance problems. A year ago I came out of 4 months hospital stay with sever depresion , movement disorders , could Nanaot walk, could not feed myself, could not remember daily things. I came out of the hospital unable to walk in a wheelchair. I never thought of a service dog. I think it was in September I had progressed to a cane on my own. My family and I went to a festival in Douglasville, Georgia. IGY 6 service dogs for heroes had a booth and the Douglas County Shelter was there also. I stopped and talked to Ken and the others manning the booth. They were sincere Andrew had a passion for there cause. I asked my mental health doctor if I would benefit from a service dog and she said yes. She wrote a letter saying i would benefit from a service dog to give to IGY 6 service dogs for heroes. I was at the douglas County Shelter and saw my battle buddy. He was a German Shepherd puppy. He was around three months old and was listed as a stray. I adopted him and named him Tropper. I registered with IGY 6 and sent in my letter. Today Trooper is a registered Service Dog. Now the hard work starts with the advanced training. Ken is a very sincere person with a drive to get every vetran that needs a service dog by pairing them up with shelter dogs; savings two lives at once. The cost to train a service do g is $38000 and over 2 years. There is no cost to the vetrans. IGY 6 Service Dogs for Heros need sponsers and donations to reach there goals. I have bennifited from Trooper over and over again. I cannot think Ken and GIY 6 enough for the new lease on life they gave Tropper and I.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ken and his organization are wonderful! They truly care about every one they help and what is the best thing of all is that they don’t charge any fee for their services. They are ran by a staff of volunteers who are knowledgeable about PTSD and veterans affairs. No matter who you deal with their you will be treated with respect. They are all animal lovers and seem to have a way with the dogs. They are saving lives...That of a person with PTSD and that of a shelter dog.

3 Brittney S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is doing great things, one person & pooch at a time.
After searching a year for a service dog, I was lucky enough to find an organization that not only would help me dispite my financial status, but avoid the several year waiting list as well.
To say I was relieved is an understatement.
I was paired with the most gentle, sweet guy named Pete just several months ago, but already he has made a positive impact on my life.
My confidence is growing, I'm doing things I would never dream of before.
He has already came to my rescue several times, & I couldn't be more grateful for IGY6.
Without this organization, I would not have the growth and abilities I do now.
If you are in need of a service dog, I highly recommend reaching out to IGY6, even if you just need information, or have questions, Ken is very informative and easy to talk to!

2 Kenneth C.1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working with this IGY6 service dogs for heroes for the last 3 Years. I love what they are doing to save our veteran and homeless dogs. I have made many new friends for life. We always need new volunteers . Join the team and have fun helping others.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

What's left when a soilder is afraid to go to sleep, afraid to wake up and is tortured by what is in between? It's not the fear of dying, we have done that a million times in our heart.
Some of us can't scrub our guilt Away. I was lost. Then one day Dash came into my life; this loud, shedding, slobbering wonderful dog began to be the miracle that saved my life and with every shoe I have to wrestle back, I fall in love more and more. Thanks to Ranger Dog Training, I have my life back.
My undying appreciation for Ken who sent this salvation my way and continues to be my good friend.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ken is a wonderful, patient trainer. I have a Pittie that needed a refresher course and to take her public access test. He taught me and my husband who has PTSD how to work with her and now we can work with other Veterans and their dogs. Ken helps a lot of our heroes and he's amazing!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ranger dog training is awesome, I took a young man to visit who has special needs. Mr. Ken was great he took the time to show him all the techniques to train these amazing animals. My individual was so impressed, he stated that this is a wonderful organization, they help our soldiers and the animals. He has not stopped talking about Ranger dog training.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a Army Veteran I want to thank the folks at IGY6 for what they are doing. I'm looking forward to work with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello,
I do not know where to start. A Organization that helps for veterans and save our four legged friends. I have see first hand or the veteran and the dogs loves have change. I have had the changes to work with the service dogs and how they are trained. I encourage you to have a love for veterans for four-legged friends volunteer . This will be the best experience you have in your life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization saved my life, without them and the work they do I don't know where I would be.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm so glad I found IGY 6'service dogs. Ken is a person that truly care about us.
After training with Ken and my dog if feel comfortable going out of my Comfort zone . For a long time I was in a very dark place. I did not trust anyone, but with Ken It was different . He was like a father figure . At time he was hard on me . But I know he will always have my back. I can't say how thankful I am.

Love you brother

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We rescue dogs from shelters and have always trusted Ken to help us acclimate the rescue dog with our own dogs. He has a way with animals that is so natural and he seems to speak their language and understand each personality and how to make the dog relationships work. When we have had an adoptive family interested in a dog we have Ken come and assist with introductions to their dogs and provide advice on continued training. We trust Ken implicitly and now the work he is doing for veterans is a true passion for Ken. We support him and hope you will too. Any donation is helping to restore the life of someone that served our country and now needs us to help them.
So proud of the work you are doing Ken!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

These guy's are awesome ! They volunteered to help me, to help a veterans service animal,"Emily the lab" after he was unexpectedly hospitalized. Please, support them in anyway that you can, so that they can continue to help more Veterans and their animals.

2 kcappy

Board Member

Rating: 5

On July 2 2015 I lost a very special person . He lost his fight with PTSD. Before Stephen passed away, we where working on getting him a service dog. Stephen had a little twinkle in his eye . He was so excited about getting the service dog to help him. But I was to late and lost Stephen.
I said something has to change . For our veterans have to wait to long to get a service dog . I promise Stephen I would do my best to not let this happen again.
As a veteran my self I new I had to do my part to save my military family.

Thank you,
Ken Cappello

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I first got involved a few months ago when we adopted our dog from Ranger Dog Training. Ken Cappello is the CEO of IGY6 and also runs Ranger Dog Training. He is an incredible man and what he is doing by saving 2 dogs at once is incredible! Thank you Ken.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IGY6 gave me an opportunity back at life that I didn't before think possible! I became involved after suffering from a head injury myself and learned through the power of working with Ken and the rest of the team what a truly incredible organization this is!