Posted on October 11, 2015

Puppy Jake Foundation is proud to share the news of the graduation of three service dogs and their wounded military veterans.  For two weeks, Trainers worked with Lukas, Jarrod and Steve as they met their service dog for the first time.  Team Training included classroom discussion of the ADA law, health and care of a dog, learning and practicing cues the service dogs have acquired, restaurants, malls, training and more training.

A special thank you with deep gratitude goes out to Elise, Gina and Rhonda for their phenomenal hard work and dedication with the training of PARKE, BUCKY and DEAN.  While it is difficult to say good-bye to a dog that has been in your family and heart for close to 2 years, these three Foster Families did so with grace and pride.  Their selflessness allows for a new chapter in the lives of three American heroes with three dogs that will always have a place in all of our hearts.

Service Dog PARKE was placed with veteran Lukas.  Lukas was U.S. Army active duty as a 19D (Cavalry Scout) from 2000 to 2003.  From 2001 through 2002, Lukas served at Camp Hovey, Korea on numerous training missions along the DMZ (demilitarized zone).  He was stationed in Ft. Carson, Colorado and was with the 4th ID and became involved in the main push of the Iraq invasion from March through October 2003.  Lukas was stop-lossed, (required stay in uniform beyond the enlistment) during his time in Iraq. 

Lukas was on Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), then Army Reserves.  While in the Army Reserves, he was MOB’d (mobilized) twice, back-to-back, stateside from 2009-2011.  Lukas left with the rank of Staff Sergeant and is currently in the IRR again.  Lukas suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), hearing loss and tinnitus in his left ear.  Lukas is married and lives in Norwalk, Iowa.

Service Dog BUCKY was placed with veteran Jarrod.  Jarrod is a full time student at Western International University working on his Masters in Public Administration (MPA).  He has a BA in Criminal Behavior from Western International University; an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Culinary Arts degree and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Indian Hills Community College.

Jarrod joined the United States Army in 2006.  In 2007 he was deployed to Iraq for a fifteen-mouth tour, then from 2010 to 2011 Jarrod served in Afghanistan.  Tragically, during his tours of duty, Jarrod witnessed the death of fellow service members and he now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He suffers from hearing loss in his left ear and scarring from lacerations in combat.  Head trauma resulted in sleep apnea and Jarrod suffers from night terrors.  Back at home in 2013, Jarrod enjoys spending his time outside camping, fishing, and hunting.  Jarrod lives in Oskaloosa with his wife and daughter.

Service Dog DEAN was placed with veteran Steve.  Steve served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 until 1997.  His numerous assignments included operations in Albania, Congo and Zaire where he participated in the evacuation of American citizens.  For Steve’s many heroic actions, he earned the Combat Action Ribbon.  Over four years of service to America took a toll on Steve.  He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic migraine headaches, anxiety and major depression.

Steve has been participating with Puppy Jake Foundation for over a year to become familiar with dog training cues and canine behavior as he eagerly awaited a service dog.  Steve and wife reside in Sioux Falls, SD with their four children.


Posted on August 23, 2015

Puppy Jake Foundation wrapped up the 2015 Iowa State Fair, reflecting on the wonderful experiences this year.  Over twenty veterans expressed interest in applying for a professionally trained service dog and more than thirty people plan to attend upcoming Orientation Sessions to become foster familes.

The Training Team conducted NINE formal training classes at the Fair.  Additionally, foster families spent time exploring the venue with their service dog in training on their personal time, and/or before and after shifts in the Booth.  Great care was taken for the time the pups spent in the booth greeting and meeting everyone.  Multiple breaks, water and kennel time was required for the canines~and humans too!

PJF is blessed with the high level of awareness of the mission to help US Servicemembers, suffering from injury in combat.  Time and time again the volunteers heard, "Oh, here's Puppy Jake~they raise service dogs for veterans!"  Presidential candidates, mascots, children, veterans, cheerleaders, special guests from Blazing Saddles and more, spent time with the pups, made donations, and chatted with volunteers.

After 11 days at the Fair, where PJF helped a lost boy, a man suffering a stroke and a break-in to the booth, PJF was thrilled to give away 78 stuffed dogs; 250 coloring books; 400 tattoos (on the first day); 114 PJF special blend coffee packs; 103 admission tickets, 1,250 business cards, 874 personalized dog trading cards; 83 t-shirts; 43 tugs toys (made by volunteers) and 2,400 brochures.  The millions of calories, trips down the concourse, goats and cattle, sky gilder rides and pup treats added to the wonderful time.  Iowa State Fair experience:  PRICELESS.


Posted on July 2, 2015

For the second year in a row, Gabus Automotive Group customers and employees support PJF as one of the charities for the "July Charitable Program".  For each car sold in the month of July from any of the Gabus Automotive Group dealerships, $100 will be donated to the charities selected.

Volunteers and foster families accepted the generous check last year and continue to be grateful for the support of PJF's mission to donate a professionally trainied service dog to a combat wounded veteran.

The dealership even allowed a couple of pups to hop in one of the new cars!


News Release

For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact:  Dee Kading, Human Resources Director            

Wednesday, July 1, 2015                                                                                                 515-333-5786 (office)                                                                                   


Gabus Cares July Charitable Program

Gabus Automotive Group Customers and Employees Support Four Local Nonprofit Organizations


Des Moines, Iowa — Gene Gabus, president of Gabus Automotive Group, believes strongly in giving back to the communities where his employees and customers live and work. His father, the late Charles Gabus who founded the family of car dealerships, quietly supported many area charities. Gene Gabus continues the “give back” philosophy his father modeled. The Gabus Cares program honors and supports local charitable organizations that help lift individuals — inspiring hope and providing much-needed resources.

During the month of July, when customers buy a new or used vehicle from any of the Gabus Automotive Group dealerships, Gabus Automotive Group will donate $100 per car sold to local charities.

This year, Gabus Cares program proceeds will benefit four local charities selected by the employees at the four Gabus Automotive Group dealerships. From a pool of nominated organizations, employees voted to support these four local charities:

  • Children’s Cancer Connection
  • Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
  • Puppy Jake Foundation
  • Urbandale Food Pantry

Gabus Automotive Group July charitable programs have raised nearly $500,000 since the Gabus Care’s program was established in 2011. Gabus says, “Our goal is to give more than $100,000 this year.  Sharing our good fortune with the folks that place their trust in us as a local business is simply a wonderful way to show gratitude and help our communities.”

Gabus Automotive Group

Charles Gabus purchased his first dealership in 1953 in Holdrege, NE. Gabus moved his Charles Gabus Ford dealership to West Des Moines, IA and eventually to its present location on Merle Hay Road. Today, Charles Gabus Ford is Iowa’s largest Ford dealership.

In addition to Charles Gabus Ford, the Gabus Automotive Group includes Toyota of Des Moines, Des Moines Mitsubishi and Kia of Des Moines. Gabus Automotive Group President Gene Gabus continues his father’s legacy of selling quality vehicles at a good value, providing superior service and maintaining local dealer ownership. For more information, call 515-238-8878. 

Children’s Cancer Connection

Children's Cancer Connection exists to enhance the lives of families affected by childhood cancer, and being the caring presence by providing programs for recreation, education and support. Children's Cancer Connection is able to provide these programs to children and their families in Iowa, at no cost because of compassion and generosity of businesses and individuals. For more information, visit

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa has led child abuse prevention efforts in Iowa since 1975. It is the only state organization focused solely on preventing child abuse rather than treating families and children after abuse has occurred. The organization advocates for policies and programs that promote child well-being, raises awareness of child abuse and methods to prevent it, and assists community partners in providing services to families. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is based in Des Moines, but has partnerships in nearly every Iowa county. For more information, call (800) CHILDREN or visit

About Puppy Jake Foundation

Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military veterans through the assistance of well bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs. PJF donates the service dogs to the veterans. There are currently 26 service dogs in various stages of training. Each dog is in the program up to two years at an average cost of $20,000 per dog. For more information visit            

Urbandale Food Pantry

The Urbandale Food Pantry is a collaborative community effort to reach out to our neighbors to provide food assistance with dignity and compassion. Open to all residents, proof of economic need is not required to obtain food and personal care items. The Urbandale Food Pantry is one of the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) food pantries where it obtains its food supplies. For more information, please visit

Posted on July 1, 2015

PARKE and puppy sitter Tim at Homeland Security.  Thanks Tim for your assistance is allowing service dogs in training the opportunity to train at Homeland Security!


Posted on June 30, 2015

Take a look at Puppy Jake Foundation's summer edition of the newsletter, "Dog Tags".  This issue features Matt and his service dog, CLARENCE.  CLARENCE is the second dog to be placed by PJF.


Posted on June 7, 2015

Puppy Jake Foundation was honored to have numerous notable Veterans in town with Governor Rick Perry in support of the PJF program.  Motorcycles, American heroes, service dogs in training, supporters and veterans from the entire midwest area gathered to raise money and awareness for PJF's mission to provide professionally trained service dogs to wounded combat veterans, at no charge to the veteran!

Governor Perry spoke to the crowd, on D-Day, thanking all veterans for their service to our country.  With Governor Perry was:  Mrs. Perry, US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (author of Lone Survivor), US Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell, US Marine Dan Moran, US Navy SEAL Pete Scobell and US Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor Recipient Mike Thornton.

Taya Kyle touched the hearts of many in the crowd as she spoke informally with attendees and PJF foster families.  Taya is the author of "American Wife" and the widow of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle ("American Sniper).  She is pictured with Puppy Jake Foundation's first two veterans to receive a service dog:  Mitch (BOB) and Matt (CLARENCE).

After the program, Governor Perry (on the bike of Veteran Taylor Morris) led the veterans in the motorcycle ride to Boone, Iowa.

An amazing day, dedicated to helping our service members of the US Armed Services.

Posted on June 5, 2015

Foster Family Josh has begun his position after graduation from Drake University.  Along side Josh will be HERMAN, a yellow lab in training with Puppy Jake Foundation.  HERMAN will train for up to two years to become a professionally trained service dog, provided at no charge, to a wounded combat veteran.  Great job Josh and HERMAN.


Posted on June 2, 2015

Puppy Jake Foundation is proud to be selected as the military charity for the upcoming "Ride with Rick" on Saturday, June 6th.  The event begins in Perry, IA at the Hotel Pattee with a program and the start of the motorcycle ride to Boone, IA.

American heros will join Governor Rick Perry at this exciting event to support Puppy Jake Foundation's mission to provide professionally trained service dogs for military veterans.  Because of events like this, PJF donates the service dog to the veteran.

Some of the special guests include:  Retired US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (author of "Lone Survivor") and his wife Melanie; Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell; Retired US Marine Corps Captain Dan Moran; Retired US Navy SEAL Pete Scobell, Retired US Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor Recipient Mike Thornton; author Taya Kyle (widow of SEAL Chris Kyle).

For more information and to sign up for the ride, visit:
Posted on May 5, 2015

Eight service dogs in training travelled to Washington, DC on April 8th for a five day training retreat.  The nation's capital was a perfect setting for the puppies to practice skills such as:  airplane flights, subway rides, cab rides, large crowds, new sights, new smells and new sounds.

Foster families, trainers and puppies rode on an open tour bus to see historic sites like the Capitol, White House, Pentagon, Washington monument and so much more.

The group toured the moving Arlington National Cemetary, World War II memorial, Vietnam memorial, Lincoln Monument, Jefferson Monument and the National Mall.  A special time to honor those that serve our country, and a significant reminder why Puppy Jake volunteers work as hard as they do.

The retreat included the Smithsonian with half day in the Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum.  So many training opportunities for the dogs to experience.

An evening in historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia with dinner at Chadwicks resulted in sleeping puppies and hungry humans.  Georgetown proved to be an interesting and exciting training experience as well.

The trip to Washington, DC was just one phase of the professional training for these eight service dogs.   Much more work and training lies ahead for them, as they continue their journey to become a service dog for a wounded military veteran.

Posted on April 28, 2015

Two wonderful organizations have arranged events to support Puppy Jake Foundation on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 16th.   (More information on both events may be found under the Events tab.)

"We Support Our Troops" 5k Fun Run will be held at Lakeview Elementary, sponsored by the Republican Party of Appanoose County.  Registration begins at 7am and the race starts at 8am.   Questions call:  Lyle Brinegar at 641-895-5060

The Ladies of the Round Table are hosting a "Feed Jake Fundraiser and Poker Run" from 11am until 5pm.  The event will be held at Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 6567 Bloomfield Road in Des Moines.    Fun includes raffles, door prize, food, bake sale, and poker run.  Questions call:  515-554-2070

The door prize is TWO TICKETS to see ALABAMA at the Iowa State Fair!