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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 Atlanta area

Programs: service dogs sooner and at a lower cost

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

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.

1

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!

1

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.

1

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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

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

1

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!!

1

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.

1 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

1

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.

1

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!