Our Story

Our Mission

Currently, it takes two years and $36,000 to train a service dog for a veteran. In the meantime, most of these veterans are unable to work and would welcome immediate companionship and activity. Our goal is to reduce the cost and training time of a service dog by teaching veterans to train their dogs. At the same time, we provide them with much needed comradeship and sense of purpose.

This Is Our Story

Ranger Service Dog Training 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 Ranger service dogs - an American nonprofit organization that takes dogs from shelters and turns them into service dogs for veterans experiencing PTSD, related to traumatic military experiences.


One in four veterans coming back from war goes through depression, substance abuse and even suicide. 

At Ranger Service Dogs, we believe that our country owes our heroes a debt of gratitude. In turn, training animals as service dogs has proven to be extremely valuable to both vets and shelter dogs.


Ranger Service Dog Training 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 the training 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 when they come back from abroad.

Donations & Volunteers Needed

  • Every single hour, one American veteran commits suicide. The people in uniform have given so much to protect us, and it is our turn to take care of them.
  • Every single day, more than 3,000 dogs are euthanized countrywide. These pets can become perfect companions, but never get a chance.
  • You have a chance to make a change.

We need your donations to rescue the shelter dogs and provide them with training to ensure that they can get used to a new home that is so much different from the terrible shelter environment. Dogs require veterinary care, food, bedding, equipment and so on, and you can save an American hero and his best friend by making a donation to Ranger Service Dogs. Also, we are looking for friendly and enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to make a difference and help ease service dogs into new surroundings.