Wednesday, 14 April 2021
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Marines on a mission to rescue homeless vets and unwanted dogs

Two Marine Corps veterans are walking from Ventura County to their ranch in Dulzura on a mission to change lives — both for veterans living on the streets and for homeless animals that fill shelters.

The two veterans — Kalani Creutzburg and Nate Shoemer — are walking to draw attention to their charity and to raise money they say is needed to buy the land on which it sits.

Cammies & Canines, their non-profit organization, sits on a 289-acre ranch in a valley in Dulzura. The ranch is a sanctuary for homeless veterans and for rescued dogs being readied for adoption and trained for service.

The pair are walking 22 miles per day, from Sept.1-Sept. 11, to highlight the military and veteran suicides the United States faces every day, as September is Suicide Awareness Month.

The walk from Ventura County has another purpose besides raising awareness for veteran suicides. The pair is also trying to raise the money Creutzburg said is needed to continue and expand operations — about $300,000.

“Give me a chance, let me get on this property and build the programs and show the community that we can do what we say we’re gonna do,” he said.

The property, known as the Marquez Ranch, is owned by a local family.

“We got this property about five months ago,” Creutzburg said. “The one thing (the Marquez family) have agreed on is they love what Cammies and Canines does. They want to see their property…go towards something good.”

The $300,000, according to Creutzburg, is what’s needed to close escrow.

“This property, the asking price is $1.39 million,” he said. “I was homeless in 2015, I have no idea what a million dollars looks like. Give me a chance, let me get on this property and build the programs and show the community that we can do what we say we’re gonna do, and we’ll let the community stand behind us. We’ll let the community buy this property.”

He said the veterans themselves provide the labor needed to maintain the property.

“All these structures, they need a little TLC,” he said. “But, that’s work that we could do. Let these veterans do something and take pride in what they’re doing. They will build this place up like that. It’s all about empowering these folks.”

Among the things Creutzburg wants to do is continue renovating the three apartments that residents share, and expanding capacity.

The ranch also has a recreational vehicle park with hookups for up to 40 RVs. Creutzburg said he wants to build a tiny home village so more veterans can move to the property.

“To me, this is the most valuable thing about this property,” he said. “Once we raise money and close escrow, we are going all out, and this will be a true oasis, not just for our program, but any other program that’s out there dedicated to helping vets.”

The pair is updating progress daily on Facebook.

Contact Andrew Dyer via email or Twitter.


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