Check back regularly to stay current on Puppies Healing Heroes events, participants, and puppies.

2024 Puppy Recipients


Nick is from Washington, and he’s been in law enforcement for 11 years!

Nick loves the outdoors, so his services pup will enjoy an adventurous life with him, his wife Alisha, and their four children.


Matt is from Wyoming, and he served in the Navy. He enjoys spending time with his family and in the great outdoors. Matt was looking for an organization that works with service dogs, and then he finally found us!

2023 Puppy Recipients

Gregg and Lucas

Lucas has been a big change in my life as he tends to distract me from things that is a real stressor.  I tend to be more focused on him in public places.  

Thomas and Christian with their new Black LAbs

Thomas has been married for 12 years, has two daughters, and lives in Dickinson, ND. He served in the Marine Corps from 92-94. Was with 3/5 WPNS CO. 81’s Platoon. Camp Pendleton, CA

Christian, a 32-year-old man who lives in East Providence, Rhode Island. Combat veteran of the United States Army, having served with the 143rd Charlie Company Airborne Infantry Unit in Laghman Province, Afghanistan in 2011. Loving father to an 11-year-old son. Hard-working and dedicated individual who is always willing to help others. Worked for the CA Regional office out of Providence, Rhode Island for 6 years.

2022 Puppy Recipients


Hello!  I’m Jody and my pup’s name is Zee. She is a sweet 15-month-old Belgian Malinois.

I spent 30 years in law enforcement in a major metropolitan area and I’m a Desert Storm Veteran. I was forced to retire after being diagnosed with service-connected cancer in 2017. My career was everything to me and I loved it. My life and identity were wrapped up in my service. I’m thankful for all of it but it did not come without costs. It was constant trauma and stress and we all lived in a state of hypervigilance.  The threats were real, and we lost friends and coworkers. I became quite adept at compartmentalizing. It’s how we lived and it’s how we moved through things.

Once the walls of my career were gone and I tried to assimilate into civilian retirement, severe PTSD symptoms began to surface. As I struggled, the things I tried to use to cope became less and less effective. Sacred Mountain helped me reset, and changed my life when they matched me with Zee as a puppy through their Puppies Healing Heroes program. She was 3 months old when she came home to bond with me.

Our connection was immediate. As our bond grew, so did her ability to help me with my symptoms. When she was old enough, she went away for training where she was a star student. Her training was tailored to my specific needs and requests. 

She draws my attention by placing her head on me which helps with things like anxiety, anger, dreams, depression etc. She protects me and alerts me in public which allows me to go places I would typically avoid. At night when I wake up instead of spiraling into an endless barrage of thoughts and memories, I’m able to focus on her.She and I are seldom separated. Having her has changed and saved my life. I’ll be forever grateful to SMRC.

Chris and WHISKEY

I received Whiskey Tango Foxtrot on 12 Feb 22 and it changed my life. Before her I was really struggling with everything from night terrors, anxiety in crowds to depression and anger. She began waking me from the Night Terrors after about two and a half weeks of her being with me. Wes said it’s because of the bond between us. She has allowed me to enjoy large crowds again, knowing she’s always there scanning keeps me on less of a guard and when she feels my physical reactions before I do, she starts leading me away from whatever situation I’m in. I am forever grateful for everyone involved with Sacred Mountain Retreat Center for bringing us together. The bond we have is crazy, she is very sociable and loves to check up on her friends but the minute she loses sight of me she goes crazy and must get back to me. Whiskey and I have been doing great. She recently got fixed which is calming her down a lot along with her beginning to exit the puppy phase. She is still doing her job and becoming a fixture at events in Downtown Rapid City. Everything from the Sgt. Derr Foundation, Naja Shriners Events, South Dakota Masonic Events, Rush Hockey, Hot Summer Nights, Combat Vets Motorcycle Association Events and of course Sacred Mountain Retreat Events. Long story short, she has given me my confidence and freedom back.

MIchael and Sissi

Receiving Sissi has given me purpose once again I wake up because I know she needs me as much as I need her. Every day she makes me smile and I realize how blessed I was to receive her. I was going down a dark path and she saved my life. Thank you.

Sean and Sheila
Sean and Sheila

Sean and Sheila

Sheila is doing well after having adjusted to our daily routine. As time goes on she continues to gain confidence in herself and it shows up every single day. She has been an absolute gift to my life. I don’t think there isn’t a day where she teaches me to have more patience and compassion. Not just with others but with myself. She loves the kids and can’t get enough tug-o-war with them. As her and I continue on this crazy journey together, I have no doubt her and I will continue to grow and be able to share a beautiful story.

Sean and Sheila

Don Kranz and Emily

Receiving a service dog has changed my life in many ways. I have had more interest in getting out of the house. I have built a trustworthy relationship with my service dog. I communicate better than before with my feelings.


I can’t believe I would be this well off if it wasn’t for the service dog program. I am grateful and appreciative of all the work Sacred My Retreat does for veterans and first responders.


2021 Puppy Recipients

Lance and Thor

I recieved Thor as my service dog 2 years and half ago during sacred mountain retreats GALA, during that time he came into my life at a moment of chaos. The start of our jounry, thor has been through so many different changes in my life, but he has always been there for me whenever I call upon him. I am at a point in my life that I’m extremely happy and I have found happiness with friends, family, and a girlfriend. His job has changed throughout the years for me and I’m hoping we continue to grow together as partners. Thor will always be part of my life as my journey towards healing has started from the sacred mountain to my heart. 


The journey from sacred mountain to now has blessed me in so many ways that I will be forever grateful for Thor and the sacred mountain family.