About Us

About Veteran's Puppy For Life

OUR

ROOTS

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 1041 of Arvada, Colorado named in honor of Navy SEAL Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr. originally voted to fund an experiment. The experiment was to purchase a puppy and place it with a veteran living with PTSD.  The Chapter chose to provide veterinarian health care and pay for two years of training for the veteran and the puppy.  The result of this first puppies and veterans living with PTSD placed together proved to be truly beneficial. Their puppy program grew into a truly rewarding labor of love.  We established our organization using their guidelines as our founding principles to benefit a greater number of veterans living their lives daily with PTSD.

WHAT WE DO

VETERAN'S PUPPY FOR LIFE

Bring puppy and veteran living with PTSD together

Veterinary
Health Care

Training of
service dogs

One Puppy at a Time

The matching of puppy and veteran begins when the puppy is born.  The breeder notifies us when the puppy will be ready to come home and starts evaluating the puppies for appropriate traits of a service dog.  We begin our search for a suitable candidate for the puppy.  We let VA treatment facilities know that we have a puppy for a recipient*.  Evaluation of candidates begins.  The veteran must meet certain criterion in order to qualify for the puppy.  When the puppy is eight-weeks old it goes home with his or her veteran and their journey together begins.

The Key to a Happy Puppy

A happy and healthy puppy is important for the puppy in becoming a service dog. We recognize that some veterans cannot shoulder the expense of veterinarian care. We here at Veteran’s Puppy for Life believe that we should remove that stress from the veteran who is already living in a stressful situation.  We have arranged veterinary health care with a local animal hospital.  We provide veterinary health care assistance for the first two years.

The only requirement we have of the veteran recipient is they must keep all scheduled appointments for their puppy.

Two Years of Training

The bonding and training begins from the day the veteran recipient picks up his or her puppy on puppy pick up day.  We require that the veteran does not drive home from picking up their puppy.  They must sit in the passenger seat and hold their puppy.  This starts the bonding process immediately.  Service Dogs need to be socialized with other dogs and people.   We require the puppies go to a structured puppy play time each week.  Around eighteen weeks the puppy begins their first puppy class.  Veteran’s Puppy for Life pays for all of the training up through the AKC “Canine Good Citizen” certification.  Upon passing the CGC the veteran and their service dog begin specified PTSD training with our PTSD Service Dog Trainer.

Helping to Heal Wounded Souls…

One Puppy at a Time!

Frank Griggs

FOUNDER & CEO

CONTACT FRANK

Todd Huettner

BOARD MEMBER

CONTACT TODD

Frank is an eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran.  He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.  The Purple Heart is awarded to those who have either lost their life or were wounded at the hands of an enemy in combat.  He received his trauma on the same day in 1969 that caused him to be a recipient of the Purple Heart. Having lived his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and never wishing anyone to live that way, as the Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1041 of Arvada in 2014 he challenged the Chapter to the goal of placing a trained service dog with a veteran living with PTSD.  This began the journey to what is now known as Veteran’s Puppy for Life Organization.

Since the inception Frank has guided the philosophy for VPFL from the first puppy who he purchased and trained at his own expense, Maximus Amicus Bodidlius “Bo”.  From the beginning of attending “snap collar (aka choke collars) training he came to believe this was not an acceptable means of training for a service dog. Today VPFL does not allow snap collars (choke collars), pinch collars, e-collars (shock collars) or any fear-based training tactics.   Frank’s philosophy is that a dog trained using fear-based tactics, will not react due to that same fear.

Frank has attended training courses through one of the best-known Bond-Based service dog training organizations in the United States.  He also in his final semester to complete his Certification as a Canine Behaviorist and Nutritionist. Along with three other trainers dedicated to the philosophy of no-harm training, VPFL is on the verge expanding across the State of Colorado.  Through hours of research and study they have adapted bonding and no-harm training. In this unique program for veterans go through forty weeks of training with their puppy where the bond between the veteran and his puppy and positive reinforcement are highly emphasized.  The result is a unique and extraordinary relationship between the two.

Frank is married to his wife of forty-six years, Therese.  They have two grown children and one grandson. Frank is retired after twenty-eight years in the insurance industry as a trainer for a large national company.  Frank also received a Graduate of Theology degree from Baptist Bible College West Denver. Perhaps this helped in the motivation of “Helping to Heal Wounded Souls…One Puppy at a Time!”

Frank receives no compensation for his work and service to VPFL.  Everything he does is out of a labor of love. The only thing he has ever asked is that his Service Dog, Bo receive the first Graduation Challenge Coin issued by VPFL to veterans who graduate their puppy as a Service Dog.  Bo received the very first Challenge Coin numbered 001.

As a dog lover and supporter of Veterans, he is a great addition to our Board of Directors with a sincere desire to see our organization grow into a premier PTSD Service Dog training program.

Todd lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Jill and their three sons. An active member of the community, he has volunteered for many organizations including Junior Achievement and is the Chairman of the Denver Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Association. He has a passion for positive coaching and has volunteered as a youth sports coach for 15 years through organizations from the YMCA to the Arapahoe Youth League, South East Denver Baseball, and the Catholic School Athletic League.

He is President of Huettner Capital, a residential real estate mortgage lender located here in Denver. An active member of the business community, he is a member of many local business organizations. As a nationally recognized real estate and personal finance expert, he is frequently quoted in the business press and conducts financial wellness workshops for various groups and employers both public and private.Frank

Prior to moving to Denver in 2000, Todd grew up in Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Economics and an MBA.

Todd will focus on recruiting human, technical, and financial capital to establish our remote training program to significantly increase the reach of our services to Veterans across the state.

Frank Griggs

FOUNDER & CEO

CONTACT FRANK

Frank is an eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran.  He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.  The Purple Heart is awarded to those who have either lost their life or were wounded at the hands of an enemy in combat.  He received his trauma on the same day in 1969 that caused him to be a recipient of the Purple Heart. Having lived his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and never wishing anyone to live that way, as the Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1041 of Arvada in 2014 he challenged the Chapter to the goal of placing a trained service dog with a veteran living with PTSD.  This began the journey to what is now known as Veteran’s Puppy for Life Organization.

Since the inception Frank has guided the philosophy for VPFL from the first puppy who he purchased and trained at his own expense, Maximus Amicus Bodidlius “Bo”.  From the beginning of attending “snap collar (aka choke collars) training he came to believe this was not an acceptable means of training for a service dog. Today VPFL does not allow snap collars (choke collars), pinch collars, e-collars (shock collars) or any fear-based training tactics.   Frank’s philosophy is that a dog trained using fear-based tactics, will not react due to that same fear.

Frank has attended training courses through one of the best-known Bond-Based service dog training organizations in the United States.  He also in his final semester to complete his Certification as a Canine Behaviorist and Nutritionist. Along with three other trainers dedicated to the philosophy of no-harm training, VPFL is on the verge expanding across the State of Colorado.  Through hours of research and study they have adapted bonding and no-harm training. In this unique program for veterans go through forty weeks of training with their puppy where the bond between the veteran and his puppy and positive reinforcement are highly emphasized.  The result is a unique and extraordinary relationship between the two.

Frank is married to his wife of forty-six years, Therese.  They have two grown children and one grandson. Frank is retired after twenty-eight years in the insurance industry as a trainer for a large national company.  Frank also received a Graduate of Theology degree from Baptist Bible College West Denver. Perhaps this helped in the motivation of “Helping to Heal Wounded Souls…One Puppy at a Time!”

Frank receives no compensation for his work and service to VPFL.  Everything he does is out of a labor of love. The only thing he has ever asked is that his Service Dog, Bo receive the first Graduation Challenge Coin issued by VPFL to veterans who graduate their puppy as a Service Dog.  Bo received the very first Challenge Coin numbered 001.

Todd Huettner

BOARD MEMBER

CONTACT TODD

As a dog lover and supporter of Veterans, he is a great addition to our Board of Directors with a sincere desire to see our organization grow into a premier PTSD Service Dog training program.

Todd lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Jill and their three sons. An active member of the community, he has volunteered for many organizations including Junior Achievement and is the Chairman of the Denver Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Association. He has a passion for positive coaching and has volunteered as a youth sports coach for 15 years through organizations from the YMCA to the Arapahoe Youth League, South East Denver Baseball, and the Catholic School Athletic League.

He is President of Huettner Capital, a residential real estate mortgage lender located here in Denver. An active member of the business community, he is a member of many local business organizations. As a nationally recognized real estate and personal finance expert, he is frequently quoted in the business press and conducts financial wellness workshops for various groups and employers both public and private.Frank

Prior to moving to Denver in 2000, Todd grew up in Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Economics and an MBA.

Todd will focus on recruiting human, technical, and financial capital to establish our remote training program to significantly increase the reach of our services to Veterans across the state.

Upcoming Events

Make a Donation