RRUFF Healing Heroes provides funding to support service dogs for veterans with PTSD and other invisible disabilities in the Greater Sacramento/Placer County area. This program is made possible by the generous support of our RRUFF members, local businesses, and individual donations.  

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious problem for veterans. Each day, 22 American Veterans die by suicide. Our efforts along with support from  Allegiant Giving provides funding for group service dog classes at the following locations:  Pet Food Express, Roseville, Beale Air Force Base, American River College Sacramento, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church Rancho Cordova, Placerville Veteran’s Hall Placerville, Grass Valley/Nevada City  

The One Year service dog training program matches a veteran with a service dog and then trains the two to work together. PTSD service dogs help by alerting their human to the approach of someone from behind, guiding their human to a safe place, interrupting nightmares and flashbacks, and many other tasks. 

Classes are led by highly qualified trainers at 4Paws2Freedom. This nonprofit was created to improve the lives of veterans and first responders coping with PTSD through the use of service dogs. Group classes can accommodate up to 10 veteran/dog teams. 

If you are interested in applying for a class, please submit your online application directly to 4Paws2Freedom here.  Individual scholarships are awarded as funding allows. 

New for 2020-Stress Mitigation Program

Taught by 4Paws2Freedom with support from RRUFF.  This is a  12 week program for first responders and their pet dog to learn stress relief techniques to break the cycle of on-the-job stress.  While on duty, First Responders must be on full alert at all times, and the transition of coming home to a safe place is not an easy one.  This difficulty can affect the personal relationships, marriage and family life, causing undue conflict and anxiety.  To learn more visit 4paw1freedom.org

We exist for the sole purpose of being a catalyst for hope and change – 1 Veteran & 1 Dog at a Time

The Healing Heroes program is dedicated to the memory of Luis Carlos Montalvan 1973-2016

Luis Carlos Montalvan was an American soldier and author who was an advocate for the use of service dogs. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and the Combat Action Badge for his combat service. After his discharge from the service, he suffered from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that made it difficult for him to even leave his apartment – until he met his service dog Tuesday. Together, Captain Montalvan and Tuesday raised awareness about PTSD and its impact on veterans, and their meeting with Senator Al Franken inspired the legislator to introduce a bill to provide service dogs for vets. Captain Montalvan’s book “Until Tuesday:  A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him”  was a New York Times bestseller.

Final Tour of Duty –  February 26, 2020

Captain Morgan “Cappy” crossed over the Rainbow Bridge February 26 in the loving arms of his Veteran, Mike Chinnock, and Jean McGinnis. Cappy retired in 2018 and lived lovingly with Jean in retirement. Cappy was born November 29, 2008. Not only did Cappy work for his veteran, Mike, he helped RRUFF Healing Heroes provide service dogs and training for other disabled veterans. He never said “no”. His age and his hard work eventually took its toll. There has never been a better, more loving dog. Rest In Peace Captain Morgan – Your final tour of duty has ended. We will wrap our treasured memories in a blanket of love and keep them for you until we meet again