Empowering Veterans by Providing Unwavering Support and Assistance

Southern Cross Service Dogs was founded to enable an enriching and fulfilling life by pairing exceptionally trained service dogs with exceptional people to provide an increase in independence and self-reliance. Southern Cross Service Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching lives by providing exceptionally trained service dogs at no cost to qualified individuals with disabilities.

Each Southern Cross service dog works to increase independence, foster self-reliance, and support the well-being of the individual it is paired with.


Transforming Lives,
Strengthening Communities

This organization was founded because there is a tremendous need for service dogs to assist veterans with disabilities. Southern Cross is focused on pairing qualified U.S. veterans with a service dog trained to perform specific jobs or tasks related to an individual’s disability and needs.

Our goal is to provide well-trained dogs that exemplify the motto, “Always Beside You”.


The Southern Cross
Service Dogs Mission

Service dogs bestow unconditional love, offer steadfast support, provide unwavering companionship, and perform specific tasks to help mitigate an individual’s disability. Thus, service dogs become the bedrock for veterans to cope with post-combat challenges, re-engage in the community, manage emotional trauma, and reduce post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptomatology.

Service dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.


Why Choose Southern Cross Service Dogs?

Southern Cross Service Dogs was founded with traditions and unity in mind. Our Founder Brandon Marquez spent seven years as a Multi-Purpose Canine Handler for the Marine Corps Special Operations, before being medically retired in January 2020. Choosing the name Southern Cross pays tribute to the Marine Corps Raiders, past, present, and future.

The Southern Cross name and design pays homage to the United States Marine Corps Raiders. The Southern Cross star constellation represents the historic achievements of the Marines serving during the Pacific campaign of WWII, specifically those actions on Guadalcanal. The Marine Corps Raiders were active from 1942 to 1944. On June 19, 2015, The Marine Corps Special Operations Command formally recognized and redesignated the organizational units as Marine Raiders. The present-day brave men and women of the Marine Raider’s bestow upon them the Raider insignia of a closed skull surrounded by the Southern Cross Star Constellation.