Shelter to Soldier™

Saving Two Lives at a Time

The Barnes Firm is proud to sponsor Shelter to Soldier™, a CA 501c3 nonprofit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other psychological injuries associated with traumatic service experiences.

shelter to soldier

About the Program

Shelter to Soldier logo Based in Southern California, the Shelter to Soldier™ service dog training program is approximately 12-18 months in length, beginning with a thorough evaluation and subsequent adoption from a local shelter, a year, on average, of service dog training and task work, and handler training with an approved veteran. The journey through the program culminates in a special graduation ceremony for the pair and a new life together.

Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) is a major problem for our men and women in uniform, and its effects last far and beyond the battlefield. One in five veterans returning from combat tours suffers from PTS. Many of them are so debilitated that they are unable to leave their homes or engage in any meaningful way in society.

With the combination of therapy, medications and the companionship of a service dog who does not judge them but does inspire and require them to get up and out, our veterans can begin to experience a new lease on life. Service dogs can provide a boost in their veteran’s confidence, increased productivity, and improved relationships through the sense of security and companionship.

Shelter to Solider™ Honors Steve Barnes

The Barnes Firm announced they would be sponsoring three adopted dogs set for training and held a naming contest for the first of the three dogs. In honor of our founder—the late Steve Barnes—and in recognition of his service as a US Marine Corps combat veteran in the Gulf War, The Barnes Firm sponsored rescue dog trainee “Barney” in the Fall of 2020. Psychiatric service dogs, including Barney (pictured below on the left-hand side), spend over a year in training before joining a post-9/11 combat veteran in need of a trained service animal.

These dogs are specifically trained to aid post-9/11 combat veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and/or other injuries associated with traumatic service experiences.

“Stevey” (pictured below on the right-hand side), is the second of the three sponsored dogs sponsored by The Barnes Firm to be psychiatric service dogs.

The Barnes Firm - Shelter to Soldier - Sponsored Dogs - Unnamed #3

Shelter to Soldier KOFY TV San Francisco Naming Contest

Meet the latest canine companion to participate in the Shelter to Soldier™ project! This beautiful pup was the third service dog The Barnes Firm has sponsored and also took part in the Shelter to Soldier™’s naming contest on KOFY TV in San Francisco. Pictured on the right, we are proud to welcome “MAJOR” as our newest soon-to-be service dog, after his new name placed first in a closely contested vote with “Gunner” and a few other options. The dog will ultimately go to support a veteran in the Bay Area after completing psychiatric service and emotional support training.

How to Get Involved with Shelter to Soldier™

There are many different ways you can help support the Shelter to Soldier™ organization:

For more information, or if you are a US Veteran that would like to apply for a psychiatric support or emotional service dog, please visit the Shelter to Soldier™ website.

Donate – Your gift helps rescue dogs and directly impacts the lives of veterans and their families on the home front.

Volunteer – Giving back helps save lives.

Corporate Sponsorship – Your company can make a big difference. Be a part of a team that is “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.”

Event Sponsorship – Contributing to or hosting a fundraising event for Shelter to Soldier™ helps continue their mission.

Start a Fundraiser – Whether you’re organizing a sporting event, birthday celebration, or would like to host a fundraiser in memory of a loved one; you can support the mission with a fundraiser customized for your goals.

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