Noah's co-owner Mary Knight noted Shelter to Soldier is a worthy cause.
“It's a local San Diego nonprofit that rescues dogs out of shelters, sometimes ones on the euthanasia list, and takes them and trains them for psychiatric service for combat veterans with PTSD,” said Knight. “It’s a win-win for both the dog and the veteran.”
Victor E. Martin, U.S. Navy (Ret.), was the second recipient of the 13 Shelter to Soldier service dogs placed in the program thus far.
“Before receiving my dog, I hadn't left the house in several months,” said Martin, a married father of three who was wounded in the Arabian Gulf and suffered a brain injury.
“I was also diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder and PTSD,” continued Martin adding, “I was suicidal and was afraid to even check my mail. My wife lost her husband and my children lost their father. I wanted their daily suffering (because of my mental illness) to stop.”
Martin graduated from Shelter to Soldier on Veterans Day 2012 with his service dog, Kira.
“After graduating and being filled with so much hope, I began volunteering with Shelter to Soldier to help other veterans in need,” Martin said.
“I've never stopped volunteering, speaking and raising awareness about; veteran suicide (20 veterans a day commit suicide), the mental health benefits of psychiatric service dogs and this amazing organization, Shelter to Soldier.”
Martin noted service dog training takes anywhere between 12 and 18 months and costs roughly $12,000. That cost is paid for by sponsors and through fundraising. There is never a cost to veterans.
Knight said Noah's continues to thrive, 16 years after opening in PB, because “our customers realize how important a role food has in their pets lives.”
The pet store owner noted “non-processed food is more natural, better, easier to digest and has more nutrients in it. We educate our customers on how how to read a label, and know what's good – and not good – in their pet food.”
“We really do good things for the community and we love our customers,” said Noah's manager, Maegan Turnquist. “We want to give back to our customers.”
On May 6, during its daylong celebration fundraiser, Noah's will be showcasing its progressive store offering raffles and giving away gift baskets, as well as having eight different cat and dog vendors onsite. There will be food, drinks and refreshments.
“We have been here in the neighborhood for 16 years and we're proud of that,” noted Knight.