Our Founder, Joni Bonilla

For the past twenty years I have known and loved two things; dogs and the military community. Being a military spouse has provided me the opportunity to know first hand the daily struggles that this awesome demographic of people face.

In 2015 a friend of mine who is a four time combat veteran lost his pet dog suddenly and he greatly struggled with the loss. He spoke to me about the many ways she enriched his life since retiring from the Army and how she was a prominent influence in him integrating back to civilian society. Upon looking for a service dog for him I was met with politics, hefty price tags and long waiting lists. Because of this Operation at Ease was born.

I have been working, training and rehabilitating shelter dogs for over twenty years. I have a degree in Animal Care, I am an evaluator with the American Kennel Club (as are many of our staff members) and continue to maintain my education with current methods by regularly attending seminars and conferences. OAE is staffed only with professional trainers who have a minimum of ten years experience, outside continuing education and first hand knowledge of the community of people that we serve. Not only are we dog trainers, we are spouses of veterans, spouses of police officers, we are veterans and first responders ourselves. Because of this, our work isn’t something that we do because we have always loved dogs, it’s something we do because we have skin in the game.

We are honored to serve those who have served, and invite you to meet our dedicated team members who make it all possible! These are the faces behind Operation At Ease – incredible individuals who are committed to improving the lives of our heroes and their loyal canine partners.

OAE In the News

Motorcyclists Ride For PTSD From Albany To Ballston Spa

ABC News 10 | By Skylar Eagle | August 20, 2022

Operation At Ease PTS Awareness Ride Lobbying To Drop ‘D’ From ‘PTSD’

The Daily Gazette | By Andrew Waite | August 18, 2022

Dogs, Vets Help Each Other Deal With Stress

Albany Times Union | By Terry Brown | Aug 1, 2022

Local Organization Training Service Dogs, Healing Veterans

Spectrum News 1 | By Jaclyn Cangro | Sept 22, 2021

Duty Calls: Military Spouse Trains Canines To Ease PTSD

Albany Times Union | By Terry Brown | June 11, 2021

Pets Can Boost Mood of Those Who Are Social Distancing

Spectrum News 1 | By Mercedes Williams | March 24, 2020

Good News 2018: Service Dog Helps Veteran Excel In College

The Daily Gazette | By Indiana Nash | December 31, 2018

Korean War Veteran Welcomes Therapy Dog For Memorial Day

Spectrum News 1 | By Mercedes Williams | May 28, 2018

City Reaches Federal Benchmark for End of Veteran Homelessness

San Antonio Current | By Michael Marks | May 13, 2016

Multimedia News

Interview with Steve Caporizzo Pet Connection Prime Time  |  News 10  |  April 22, 2021
Joni Bonilla Is Honored With Community Impact “Everyday Hero” Award | March 2018
Medic Materials Podcast  |  Episode 16  |  February 15, 2022
Interview with Joni Bonilla
Upstate Issues with Diane Donato |  WGY News Radio 810 & 103.1