About

What We Do

Life Changing Service Dogs For Veterans is dedicated to helping the many Veterans who return home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), emotional and mobility issues, and other visible and invisible injuries. Flashbacks of service-related events can lead to antisocial behavior, feelings of detachment, difficulty feeling like they belong, shame, and survivor’s guilt, any of which can keep our Veterans from enjoying the beauty of life and being the person they used to be or want to be. Life Changing Service Dogs For Veterans, an all-volunteer Pittsburgh-based not-for-profit, has raised more than $1.9 million to enable the gifting of a Service Dog to more than 55 Veterans in our Region.

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Mission Statement

Provide support to build a campus in Western Pennsylvania to breed, raise, and train medical Service Dogs for those who suffer from visible and invisible disabilities including Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) with special focus on men and women who are Veterans of United States Military Service.

Vision Statement

Life Changing Service Dogs For Veterans (in partnership with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs) is focused on the needs of our Military Service Veterans by raising funds for a new fully built campus in McDonald, PA for breeding, raising, and training of Service Dogs capable of assisting up to 70 additional Veterans per year.

How It Began

In 2015, two Viet Nam Veterans from the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Army Lieutenant Anthony “Tony” Accamando and Air Force Captain George D’Angelo, were in search of a solution to the problem of 22 Veterans committing suicide daily. Their search led them to Medical Service Dogs and Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, a Florida-based Service Dog breeder/trainer that gifted Service Dogs to disabled Veterans at no cost to the Veteran. Moreover, at that time and to the present (February 2024), no recipient of their Service Dog has committed suicide. Solution reached!

On Veterans Day 2015, the two Veterans announced a challenge at the annual Veterans Day Breakfast in Pittsburgh; they would raise enough money to provide 22 Veterans with 22 Service Dogs in 22 months! They raised more than $1.3 million in that period and formed Life Changing Service Dogs For Veterans, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization consisting of approximately 30 volunteers to continue their work.

Having raised nearly triple the money needed to meet the goal, they changed the Mission to raising money to build a Service Dog breeding, raising and training campus in McDonald, PA. The addition of this campus will address the serious shortfall of Service Dogs for qualifying Veterans with visible and invisible disabilities. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, the owner and operator of the McDonald Campus, broke ground on this Campus on November 10, 2023. This Campus, when completed, will provide up to 70 additional Service Dogs per year to our Veterans.

About Our Members / Volunteers

Life changing Service Dogs For Veterans is a group of unpaid volunteers working solely for the benefits of our regional Veterans. We are not aligned with any organization, other than Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.; nor are we aligned with any political or private advocacy groups. We are driven solely by the desire to help meet the needs of the men and women who are Veterans of United States Military Service.

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