Each service dog in training with Puppy Jake Foundation has painted and created their own special piece of art to help raise money for wounded military veterans. At a fun and colorful 'painting party' last night, volunteers, foster families and pups demonstrated some very unique skills.
The 3rd annual fund raising reception will be held this year on Thursday, April 23rd at Sticks Studio, 3631 SW 61st Street in Des Moines beginning at 6pm. In addition to fun, food and beverages at the reception, a silent auction is new this year. The painting by the pups will be in the auction. Sticks will have a new poster and plaque available too! Get your tickets today.
Puppy Jake Foundation is honored and pleased to present the 2014 Annual Report. You may view the entire annual report at the "About the Foundation" tab under Financial Information and Donor policies.
The Annual Report will be available permanently, along with financials and donor policies on the website under "About the Foundation". Thank you to so many generous individuals, corporations and foundations that support our mission to provide professionally trained service dogs to wounded military veterans.
An honor and priviledge for Puppy Jake Foundation to be featured on the nationally televised show "Amazing America with Sarah Palin" on the Sportsman Channel February 12, 2015. PJF will post the entire video as soon as it is available.
Host Jerry Carroll stepped into the world of training servcie dogs at Canine Craze Performance Center with Co-Owners Scott and Renee Jetter. Several service dogs in training demonstrated the skills they were working on, as Scott and Renee explained the training tasks, clicker training and positive reinforcements. Then Jerry spent the afternoon with veteran Mitch Chapman and his service dog BOB. BOB has already made a tremendous difference in the lives of Mitch and his family.
Take a look at this article published around the country today!
Puppy Jake Foundation is proud to bring you our first issue of Dog Tags, the official newsletter of PJF. Each quarter we'll bring you training updates, helpful articles for veterans and news and photos from around the Foundation. Stories in this edition include:
Updates from our first service dog placement with a wounded American veteran
News about a new facility dog trained by PJF for On With Life, a brain injury rehab center
Important facts about service dog accessibility you may not realize
The Second Annual Operation: Gingerbread House clinic will be held on Sunday, November 23, 2014 from 1-3pm, at Palmer's Deli & Market, 2843 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines. For only $20 join PJF and make your own gingerbread house with all the toppings and candy provided! Great fun for kids, families, scouts and clubs! This Gingerbread House clinic is a great way to kick-off the holiday season.
Thank you Palmer's Deli & Market for your sponsorship of this fun and tasty event! All proceeds will be used to help train service dogs to be placed with wounded combat veterans.
Simon Conway and WHO Radio have chosen Puppy Jake Foundation as their adopted charity and the first event was a terrific success! With special thanks to HyVee, Bar-B-Q Champion BJ Hoffman, Rotella Bakery, Russ Cerniglia and his special sauce, and the Iowa Pork Producers PJF raised thousands of dollars from generous donors. (photos courtesy of WHO)
Folks drove through the WHO parking lot for two hours and were given free pork sandwiches. Drivers 'threw' money in the bucket to help support PJF's mission of providing professionally trained service dogs to wounded members of the US Armed Services.
Service dogs in training (including NEW puppies), foster families, volunteers and graduates all were on hand to meet and thank supporters. Meanwhile, the Simon was live on the air!
Puppy Jake Foundation looks forward to this partnership, with gratitude.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad proclaimed September, 2014 as "Service Dog Month" and recognized Puppy Jake Foundation for it's work in the field.
In a ceremony in the State Capitol, the Governor signed a proclamation discussing the work of a service dog and the demand and waiting list for service dogs for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and physical mobility issues.
Service dogs in training, puppy raisers, volunteers and a wounded veteran and his family were in attendance. PJF gave Governor Branstad a hat to wear, which he promptly wore.
Actor Gary Sinise, whose memorable roles include Lt. Dan Taylor in the movie Forrest Gump, recognized Iowa's own Puppy Jake Foundation at an event held on July 24th aboard the USS Iowa battleship in Los Angeles. Sinise is an ardent supporter of various veterans' organizations and frequently performs on USO tours for military personnel around the globe. He is a member of the advisory council of the Hope For The Warriors, a national non-profit dedicated to provide a full cycle of non-medical care to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch. Hope for the Warriors will hold its signature event – "Got Heart, Give Hope" -- aboard the USS Iowa with Sinise as the special guest. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Puppy Jake Foundation, Battleship Iowa and Hope for the Warriors.
The Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-proﬁt organization dedicated to help wounded military veterans with the assistance of well-bred and professionally trained service dogs. Veterans’ injuries may be invisible such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or physical mobility impairments. The foundation advocates for increased awareness and accessibility for those accompanied by a service dog in everyday situations.
“Not only is it an honor to be a part of such a great cause, but our service dogs will get the opportunity to train alongside of the west coast, learning to handle the stress of large crowds and accommodate their future veteran,” said Becky Beach, the founder of Puppy Jake Foundation.
Eight service dogs in training were present, along with eleven volunteer puppy raisers for the celebration. In addition to the USS IOWA, the outing to the Los Angeles area continued with training at Disneyland, a whale watch, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Readers are encouraged to donate $25 to $100 to help sponsor a service dog for a wounded military veteran.
We felt honored when approached to raise one of the first service puppies for Puppy Jake Foundation and thrilled that we had the opportunity to name the puppy after family members who were in WWII. We decided on the name “Rudy” after my husband’s father, Walter Rudolph Thoms, Jr. who served in the U.S. Army Infantry from April 1942 until retirement as a Army Reserve Lt. Colonel in August 1968, and after my uncle, Rudolph Joseph Eckstein who served in the U.S. Army Infantry from 1941 to 1947.
Rudy came to us as a 12 week old puppy. Not only did he have to learn about us and a new home, but also Allie, our 85 lb. therapy dog. She is a Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees. Never intimidated, Rudy adapted quickly.
Over the next 11 months, we realized that Rudy was a quick learner and always wants to please. He brought us clothes, dirty or clean, shoes, keys, unloaded the dryer, and opened drawers and doors. Sometimes we asked him to do these things; sometimes we did not. Therefore, we had to do a lot of “shaping” of these behaviors so they were only performed “on command.”
Rudy is a good traveler. He took his first two day, 18 hour car trip when he was only six months old. Our trip to a family ranch in Texas was an easy one with him in the car. Once on the ranch in Texas, Rudy had much more to learn. Horses, donkeys, chickens, cats and big dogs were to be ignored. He found the ponds and learned to swim. (Note: Did you know that dogs must “learn” to swim? A fun story for another time.) His boundless curiosity led to fascinating walks off-leash. It was a good thing his recall was excellent.
When not wearing his service dog vest, Rudy is a playful dog. However, when he is wearing his vest, Rudy takes his role as a service dog very seriously. Rudy and I visited the Iowa City VA Hospital many times. When one of the veterans we were visiting gave Rudy a command, Rudy would demonstrate his skills of picking up keys, or credit cards, or opening drawers and doors for the veteran. Rudy brought many smiles and laughs to our veterans. He was well behaved, though still a puppy.
When we are at the grocery store, mall and other public places in Cedar Rapids that Rudy frequented, people still ask, “Where is Rudy?” I don’t believe they know my name but they remember Rudy’s.
It is emotionally difficult to give up a service puppy in training. Rudy will find his calling and serve someone who needs him the most. This is our motivation for continuing to be puppy raisers and our way of saying “Thank You!” to our Military Veterans for their service to our country.
Trish and Chris Thoms, Cedar Rapids, IA
On a side note: Both WWII veterans, as boys, were real "hellions", rowdy, very mischievous, and “trouble maker”. There were times PJF’s Rudy would live up to his name sakes, but we still love them all!
Service dogs can perform tasks, improve mobility and provide unconditional love. Raising and training dogs can be expensive, but those costs pale in comparison to what our Armed Forces members have given for this country. Help us improve our heroes’ lives at home and in our communities.