This Wednesday, March 13, is National K-9 Veterans Day—a day which honors the service and sacrifice of American military and working dogs. Did you know that on March 13, 1942, dogs officially became a part of the U.S. Armed Forces? This was the day that the Army began training for its new War Dog Program, aka “K-9 Corps.” Notable K-9 heroes include Sgt. Stubby, the stray turned WWI K-9 veteran, Chips, the most decorated dog in World War II, and Dexter, the first military K9 to get an American Legion Post 703 membership card.
One great way to say “thank you” to our K-9 veterans is to help support them during their service and throughout their retirement. Making a donation to a charity which honors the mission of prolonging their lives is a great way to do so! For this, we’ve gathered information from five great charities that support police and military working dogs:
1) Mission K-9 Rescue
Mission K-9 Rescue works to ensure all retired working dogs get the retirement they deserve. This includes reuniting working dogs with their former handlers, rescuing them from bad environments, and rehabilitating dogs suffering from mental or physical issues. Check them out at missionk9rescue.org
2) Military Working Dog Team Support Association
The MWDTSA promotes veteran dog handler causes and events, advocates for retired military working dogs, supports actively deployed dog teams, raises funds for War Dog Memorials, and provides K-9 veteran education for the public. Learn more, donate, or find volunteer opportunities at mwdtsa.org.
3) Warrior Dog Foundation
The Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving the special operations K-9 community. They provide a last-resort sanctuary for retired working dogs slated to be euthanized. Many of these dogs spend the rest of their lives in the organization’s care. The foundation plans to establish a scholarship fund for the families of handlers who are wounded or killed ,and also plan to build a living memorial and museum for SOF K-9s. Explore their mission and success stories at warriordogfoundation.org.
4) Project K-9 Hero
Project K-9 Hero works to provide assistance with medical costs, food, and end of duty services for retired military and police dogs. This non-profit wants to ensure each K-9 hero is rewarded with the health and life they deserve for their faithful and loyal service. Visit their website at projectk9hero.org.
5) National Police Dog Foundation
The National Police Dog Foundation raises funds, promotes education and awareness for the purchase, training and on-going preventative and emergency healthcare for active and retired police K-9s. The NPDF has also incorporated a network of veterinarians which assists with providing continued care for a police service dog after it retires. Read on about their events, ways to donate, and news at nationalpolicedogfoundation.org.
We are grateful for all military K-9s, active and retired, for their services to protect our country. Let's all do our part to celebrate them on National K-9 Veterans Day!