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Every day, veterans are losing their lives to PTSD. And every year, millions of dogs are euthanized in our shelters. At IGY6 Service Dogs for Heroes, our mission is to save both.
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.
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 as they come back from abroad.