🐾 Where does Joybound rescue its animals?

We rescue dogs and cats from overcrowded, public shelters to give animals a second chance at a healthy, fulfilling life.

🐾 Where is Shelter to Service located?   

Joybound’s Shelter to Service program is located at Joybound People & Pet Alliance’s national headquarters and adoption center at 2890 Mitchell Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. The 7,893 square foot Engelstad Shelter to Service Center is a safe space for handler-dog teams to gather, learn, train, and socialize with group and simulated home training rooms, program offices, kennels, gathering space, and more.

We are interested in partnering with ambitious, established nonprofit animal shelters and Veteran services organizations to bring the Shelter to Service model to other regions of the country.

🐾 What are the eligibility requirements?

U.S. military Veterans who are able to travel to our campus in Walnut Creek, California are eligible for services offered through the Shelter to Service program. Evidence of service may be provided through an acceptable form of military identification including: military I.D. card, VA health identification card, discharge paperwork with matching photo identification, or Department of Defense Form 214 with matching photo identification.

First responders are also eligible for psychiatric service dog and emotional support animal placement and training.

To be matched with an aspiring service dog, applicants must also meet a few additional requirements as outlined here.

🐾 When will I hear back from Shelter to Service?

After an inquiry has been submitted, our Shelter to Service team should be in touch within one week.

🐾 How do I refer someone to the program?

If you know someone who might benefit from an emotional support animal or psychiatric service dog, our team would love to talk to them and help understand their challenges. Interested parties may contact us on our website.

🐾 Do you train emotional support dogs?

We offer basic obedience training to handlers who are matched with an emotional support dog through our program. Aspiring service dogs in the program receive basic and advanced training for free.

Our team works diligently to match each Veteran and first responder with an animal who will help achieve their goals. More information on the types of placements our team offers is available here.

🐾 Does Joybound offer veterinary services to Veterans’ pets?

We believe in the power of the human-animal bond, and that cost of care should never keep Veterans from this benefit. We offer free veterinary wellness clinics in the California East Bay by appointment to assist Veterans who may depend on their pets for emotional support. Spay/neuter services are scheduled for Veteran clients as needed. Learn more about how to make an appointment and the type of veterinary care provided.

🐾 Can I train my own dog through Shelter to Service?

The Shelter to Service program exclusively utilizes pre-screened dogs from Joybound’s shelter population. Through a personalized matching service, our team takes every handler’s needs, goals, and lifestyle into account to match them with a companion who best suits them.

More information on the types of placements our team offers is available here.

🐾 What kind of shelter is Joybound?

Joybound People & Pets (formerly Animal Rescue Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization founded in 1991 to rescue dogs and cats from overcrowded municipal shelters and strengthen the human-animal bond for children, seniors, Veterans, first responders, and people in need. Read about our unique dual mission and origin story.  

Our team is committed to finding homes for all healthy and treatable dogs and cats in our care. Animals with treatable medical or behavior conditions are evaluated and cared for prior to rehoming them. Learn more about these classifications by reviewing Maddie’s Fund’s Health & Behavior Categories for Shelter Animals. Potential adopters are provided with all health and behavior history during their time at Joybound.   

🐾 How is Joybound funded?

We are a non-profit organization that is funded by private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Complete financial information is available here.

🐾 How do I donate to Shelter to Service? 

Donations of any amount make a lifesaving difference for animals and people. Make a secure online donation and direct your gift to the Shelter to Service program, or to donate by mail, please send a check to Joybound People & Pet Alliance, 2890 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, CA, 94598.

There are many other ways to donate, including stock, vehicle donations, planned giving, workplace giving, and more.

Get Involved

Goliath receiving medical treatment


Your gift saves lives.

Sign Up for Email

Receive updates and inspiring stories.

Adoptable Cats


Volunteers make our mission possible.