Doc’s Dogs for Vets is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by the Pleitez family in honor of Spc. Benjamin C. Pleitez, an army Medic, who died in Afghanistan July 27, 2012. As an EMT and highly trained medic (known as “Doc”), Benjamin was responsible for the health of his soldiers while on missions and for teaching the combat life saving training to his battalion.
During his deployment, Benjamin spoke often about his goal of starting a kennel for breeding and training dogs after he returned to the states. The search for property to build a kennel eventually led to 40 acres in the foothills of Madera.
After Ben died, the family was able to meet with some of the returning soldiers, and in doing so, they began to get a better picture of what so many combat vets experience during their post-deployment reintegration. But it was when they met a veteran, who had been wounded in Iraq and was in the process of obtaining his own service assistance dog, that they began to fully understand the enormous benefits and critical need for service/assistance dogs for combat veterans. This was the impetus for them to form a non-profit that would focus on the development of a service/assistance dog training program.
It is the Pleitez family’s desire to make Ben’s dream a reality, and in so doing, honor his memory and the service of all veterans.