NEXT STEP SERVICE DOGS

aka Next Step Service Dogs   |   San Diego, CA   |  www.NextStepServiceDogs.org

Mission

To enhance and renew the lives of Veterans and First Responders living with visible and invisible injuries including PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries with the placement of custom trained service dogs.

Ruling year info

2012

Principal Officer

Stefan Bien

Co Principal Officer

Gina Esoldi

Main address

12463 Rancho Bernardo Road PMB 574

San Diego, CA 92128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-5266435

NTEE code info

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

Health Support Services (E60)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An estimated 600,000 military suffer from debilitating PTSD and/or traumatic brain injury. The numbers are similar with first responders. Only an estimated 500 expertly-trained service dogs are available annually to help them. We seek to greatly increase the number of service dogs available for PTSD and TBI, we have training in San Diego County, California.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Next Step Service Dogs

To enhance and renew the lives of Veterans and First Responders living with visible and invisible injuries including PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries with the placement of custom trained service dogs.
Service Dog Maintenance Training – NSSD provides maintenance and additional training free to graduates for the life of the dog. Mental and physical needs may change creating a need for new tasks be trained.
Service Dog Support for Veterans – NSSD conducts training programs at military residential facilities here in San Diego. One of the facilities has a fully trained and certified NSSD service dog that is available to the Veterans on a daily basis.
Family Integration Program – NSSD welcomes family members as well as any support team to engage in the service dog training. The focus is on how best to integrate the dog into daily lives focusing on the individual needs of each family.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients satisfied with employment training services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

Next Step Service Dogs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is what we have been able to accomplish with one major training facility and one additional chapter. As we continue to expand our numbers will multiply along with it.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

NSSD is reducing the surging demand for well-trained and effective service dogs by supporting clients in training their own dogs for service or by pairing them with suitable donated dogs to train.

Many traditional service dog providers spend up to 2 years training the dogs, and only 2 or 3 weeks training the dog and veteran or first responder together, then send them home, with follow-up support by phone. NSSD offers a different but highly successful program that trains both dog and veteran or first responder to learn together during 2 hour training sessions, 3 times weekly, typically for 5 months (longer or shorter as needed) at our training center and in public settings. Providing a sense of safety and method of achieving calm is another major goal. The dog in various positions around the client at the supermarket provides balance and bracing and creates space. Immediately getting help when the client falls is a big help. This extensive customized training over 5 months trains the dog/client team to learn together, become deeply bonded, and become confident and skilled in coping with extreme anxiety/anger/confusion in public and at home. If they also have mobility issues, the dogs are trained to assist those also. Both dog and client become creative, and can develop additional behaviors and commands to suit their needs which can change over time. Both staff and volunteers are on hand to meet with a client in distress, and resolve rental/business/work-related questions/issues that occur during and after training. Clients have told us, "I would not be here today without my service dog and the wonderful training provided by Next Step Service Dogs." Spouses have said, "Thank you for giving me my spouse back." These amazing service dogs bring new freedom and joy to the client and to their family. It is an honor to know these clients, see their courage, and see them embark onto a new more independent, joyful life.

We evaluate the status of each dog and client through weekly reports, monthly trainer meetings, emails, and phone calls as each team progresses. Once a dog is assigned to a client, we track the progress of each dog and client through trainer evaluations the Access Test milestone and the Certification Test milestone, which completes the certification of both dog ad client. Getting certified is the successful outcome, and often followed by additional training for further benefit and camaraderie. Upon certification, clients submit monthly status reports for 6 months, often attend additional training sessions, and annually submit reports to renew their service ID card and status. Additionally, a veteran volunteer contacts each client at least once a year to see how each client and dog is doing.

We have trained, certified and placed over 150 service dogs in 10 years; a major accomplishment in the PTSD service dog field. We have trained over 15 trainers. We have placed numerous dogs to facilities that specialize in PTSD/TBI's.

Financials

NEXT STEP SERVICE DOGS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

NEXT STEP SERVICE DOGS

Board of directors
as of 05/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Stefan Bien

Next Step Service Dogs

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ian Dunbar

Dunbar Academy

Ted Collins

SDPD

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/02/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.