Our mission as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization is to empower positive change for veterans with invisible disabilities such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through the use of expertly-trained service dogs.
Our service dogs greatly improve the veterans’ quality of life, independence, and the sense of being unconditionally loved, respected and protected by a service dog battle companion. Next Step Service Dogs are often rescue dogs trained to perform specific tasks and worked as described by the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Standard service dog tasks include getting help, turning on lights, balance support, and retrieval, to name a few. Next Step Service Dogs are psychiatric service dogs with tasks that include helping a veteran gauge the safety of their surroundings, allowing them to venture into public places without constantly scanning for snipers, hidden bombs and other dangers; reassuring them, allowing them to learn trust and caring again – and maybe smile for the first time in months or years.
We have plans to create Next Step Training Chapters throughout the country. We hire veterans as trainers to further enhance the bonds and effectiveness of our trainer-dog-veteran teams.