1st Quarter

Message from the President

Dear NSSD Family and Friends,

For those that I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Stefan Bien. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since July 2021 and recently assumed the duties as President.

Much has transpired during the past year, and your Board of Directors is no different. The Board recently updated its membership, with Gerald Chase and Elaine Price stepping down to focus on their own personal goals. They are plank holders of NSSD and we thank them for their service to our Veterans and First Responders by wishing them “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”

2021 has been a very busy year for Next Step Service Dogs! Despite the pandemic-related restrictions and turn-over on the Board of Directors, NSSD was still able to provide top-notch service to those who serve. With flexibility, rapid planning, and detailed coordination normally seen in the most seasoned military units, NSSD was able to continue operations ultimately training and certifying 12 teams and placing 3 crisis-response canines in law enforcement and fire department facilities. In addition, after a long and arduous process…and rightfully so, NSSD was re-accredited with Assistance Dogs International (ADI), reaffirming our commitment to training and placing highly trained and task-specific service dogs to our Veterans and First Responders. Thank you again for all your support and assisting Next Step Service Dogs with our mission of renewing the lives of Veterans and First Responders.

Stefan Bien
President, Board of Directors
Next Step Service Dogs
Read More


Celebrating 10 Years of Service!

Next Step Service Dogs is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in April 2022. 
We are so honored to have had long-term success and we could not have done it without your support. Thank you!

ADI Accreditation

Assistance Dogs International ensures that non-profit organizations adhere to the highest standards in all aspects of operations. Next Step Service Dogs is proud to announce that we have received our 5 year re-accreditation.


Mike Hess Brewing

Mike Hess Brewing Company will be donating a portion of their proceeds to NSSD in honor of our 10 Year Anniversary. Show your support at Mike Hess Brewing (Seaport Village) on April 20th at 5:00pm. Learn More


First Responders Spotlight

San Diego Fire Chaplain Betsy Salzman and her Crisis Response Canine, Genoa, have been working hard for the San Diego County community, and beyond! Betsy was recently added to the chaplain ranks of the United States Probation Department and became a Certified Trauma Services Specialist. She and Genoa have assisted with various community trauma issues in the county.

Veterans Spotlight

"I am an Army Veteran and my service dog is named Sara. Sara assists me throughout the day by calming me around strangers and providing support for my bad knees. The most important task Sara performs for me is she creates space for me in public so I’m comfortable. My partnership with Sara has improved my life, both as a working relationship and as a companion, by helping to keep me active and out of the house. Sara truly is the best dog, she is so empathetic and loving, you cannot help but feel happy and calm around her." -Adam

Thank you to the Dogtopia Foundation for the sponsorship of Sara's advance training.

Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Daily Dog Tip

Be There to Show Where and Reward: Accompany your puppy/dog to its toilet area and when it eliminates, praise like you really mean it and offer three treats. “Wow! You mean I can cash in my urine and feces for food treats! I wish I had known that before wasting urine on the living room carpet.”

"When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal.
I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul."
- Anthony D. Williams
Copyright ©2022 Next Step Service Dogs. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Next Step Service Dogs
12463 Rancho Bernardo Road, #574
San Diego, CA 92128

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