• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 56s

Service dog organization prepares to close

By Shannon Ballard 6:11 PM January 9, 2014

Midnight Sun Service Dogs may soon shut its doors

ANCHORAGE - Tyson Bubnar is a dog person and has special bond with his yellow lab.

“She just opened up the world to me,” Bubnar said.

Sesi is his service dog.

“When I first got her I was denying that I even had issues of PTSD and stuff,” Bubnar said. “I went on that last deployment to Afghanistan and I had a really hard time.”

Bubnar was in the Army for 22 years and deployed nine times.

It’s not hard for him to remember life before Sesi.

“I know what it was like without her,” Bubnar said. ”It was miserable.”

It was April Merchant at Midnight Sun Service Dogs who helped Bubnar train Sesi to become a service dog and overcome his struggles.

Now, the tables have turned. It’s hard for him to see what April is going through.

She is packing up the organization’s training center and preparing for the worst, because MSSD is out of money.

MSSD has been waiting for months to receive its nonprofit status to be approved by the federal government, Merchant said.

Without that recognition, she said, MSSD is overlooked by donators and can’t qualify for grants or programs like Pick.Click.Give.

“They’ve sacrificed everything,” Merchant said about the soldiers and veterans she helps. “For me to give my time to help train a dog is nothing compared to what they’ve given. To not be able to do that now, it breaks my heart.”

MSSD relies on donations.

Rent is due and without raising $10,000 to pay off back rent by the end of the month, the doors will close.

“As a fellow veteran watching your other friends possibly not have the access to this, it’s sad because this can change their life and it can return them to an almost normal life,” Bubnar said.

Volunteers here have a saying: Every once in a while dog enters your life and changes everything.

Lives have been changed by MSSD, veterans said, and April hopes the work continues.

The organization said if it does have to shut down its training center, it would still continue to help people with their service dogs on a smaller scale.

Any money raised short of its goal will still be used to provide service dogs to active duty military members and veterans.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Legislature casts doubt on new proposal from Anchorage LIO owner

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 05, 22:58

      JUNEAU — Last month, members of the Alaska Legislative Council said they would end their controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office if it’s owner — 716 West Fourth Avenue, LLC — didn’t make offer a more “competitive” price. A new proposal from company owner Mark Pfeffer was made public Friday, but the […]

  • Politics

    ‘Idea Line’ lets Alaskans weigh in on government spending

    by Liz Raines on Feb 05, 22:24

      JUNEAU — Alaska lawmakers say they’re turning to the public for ideas on how to solve the state’s nearly $4 billion budget deficit. At a press conference Friday, members of the house majority presented the “idea line” – a 24-hour hotline where Alaskans can leave messages for lawmakers. The number to call is: 1-844-414-5949 […]

  • Sports

    CBS crews ready for the most advanced Super Bowl broadcast yet

    by Dave Goldman on Feb 05, 21:17

      SANTA CLARA, Calif. – To get some perspective on how far the Super Bowl has come, all you have to do is look back to the first game. Eleven cameras and two trucks were used at the first broadcast. That was the extent of CBS’ needs to show the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas […]

  • News

    Can I recycle that? Demystifying the rules for recycling in Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Feb 05, 20:41

      Anchorage recycling programs aren’t making a profit these days. That’s because the prices paid for recyclable materials have reached their lowest numbers in a decade. “There’s been a drop of about 46 percent in the price of metals,” explains Mary Fisher, Director of Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR). ”For the price of paper […]

  • News

    UPDATE: One person confirmed dead in Eagle River house fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 05, 19:54

    Last Updated: Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 at 10:45 p.m. One person is dead following a house fire in Eagle River Friday evening, authorities confirm. The Anchorage Fire Department received the call at 6:47 p.m., according to AFD spokesperson John See. The caller stated that they thought a person was trapped inside the house. Crews responding […]

  • News

    Anchorage 911 dispatcher helps man save his wife’s life with CPR

    by Heather Hintze on Feb 05, 18:34

      ANCHORAGE — “She’s not breathing,” Keith Herte explained frantically over the telephone to 911 dispatcher Frances Robinson. “She’s not breathing, okay,” Robinson replied. It’s a call she remembers well: May 4, 2014 — A call from a man whose wife had gone into cardiac arrest at their home in Eagle River. For Robinson, it was the […]

  • Lifestyle

    Health official: Alaskans at low risk for Zika virus

    by Associated Press on Feb 05, 18:22

    An official with the state Division of Public Health says Alaskans are not likely to contract the Zika virus unless they have contact with people who have been traveling in affected areas. Infectious disease program manager Michael Cooper says Alaskans could theoretically be infected through sexual transmission or blood transfusions, but not by the mosquitoes […]

  • News

    New details emerge about Anchorage man facing child porn charges

    by Shannon Ballard on Feb 05, 17:21

    ANCHORAGE — We are learning new details about the Anchorage Police Department’s investigation that lead to the arrest of Christopher Olson, the 31-year-old Anchorage man charged with 27 counts relating to child porn and sexual abuse of a minor. We now know Olson was his victim’s babysitter, according to court documents. Authorities discovered 14 videos on his […]