Pet Supermarket, a specialty pet supply retailer with more than 220 locations across the US Southeast, has expanded its Lend a Paw: US War Dogs Association fundraiser historically held in July to also now include fundraising throughout August.
During the months of July and August, visitors to all Pet Supermarket locations are encouraged to join in and share their support for America’s military working dogs (MWD). By providing a monetary donation of their choosing at checkout, the proceeds of which will be entirely directed to The United States War Dogs Association, customers can contribute the nonprofit’s mission of honoring our nation’s war dogs and their handlers.
“In expanding our Lend a Paw: US War Dogs fundraiser into August, we can make an even greater impact in honoring and assisting military working canines that have dedicated their lives to serving our nation,” said Pet Supermarket CEO Allen McClard. “Together with our local communities, we are committed to ensuring these extraordinary animals receive the care and recognition they deserve for their dedicated service.”
Since 2016, Pet Supermarket has raised more than $1.5 million for military service canines. With the donations, The United States War Dogs Association (USWDA) have furthered its efforts to secure caretaking supplies for dogs on active duty, provide retired dogs with essential medications, help veteran dogs find loving homes, educate the public about military canines and ensure that fallen canine soldiers are properly memorialized.
President of US War Dogs Association, Chris Willingham served for 20 years in the US Marine Corps – 17 of which were in K-9. During his military career, he deployed on two tours to Iraq with his specialized search dog (SSD), Lucca and one tour to Afghanistan, where he led 30 dog teams as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Willingham said, “I was fortunate enough to benefit from US War Dogs’ support as an active duty K-9 handler and when my dog Lucca retired. Our MWDs give their best years in service to our nation and when they retire, receive no financial support from the government, but that’s where we come in. Thanks to the incredible support and generosity of Pet Supermarket’s customers, we are able to continue our range of programs, which include covering the cost of prescriptions, emergency surgeries and other packets of support for retired MWDs, which alleviate the financial burden from their adopted families – many of whom are veterans or active duty military personnel. We are so excited to see this extended campaign launch and can’t thank Pet Supermarket enough enabling support for our organization and the dogs we represent. K-9 leads the way!”
Case Study: Bouncy Bruno Back on Four Paws, Thanks to US War Dogs
Seven-year-old Bruno has helped to train hundreds of handlers through the MWD programs at Lackland Air Force Base. The range and reach of his work can’t be underestimated and his patience and skill with trainee dog handlers will undoubtedly have saved lives. When his adoptive mom, Sue – who lives in North Carolina – noticed him limping while on his merry jaunts around her yard, it was time for a trip to the vet and some potentially costly decisions.
Bruno’s vet, Dr. Andrew Williams, ordered a set of x-rays and saw that Bruno had torn his ACL which would require surgery to repair. Sue said, “My heart sank as I knew that Bruno would not only have to endure the surgery but the weeks of careful recovery, which would be key to the success of the whole thing.”
The other heart-sinking realization was the cost. “I take on these dogs with the knowledge that they are going to need lots of additional care after their busy careers. Bruno has IBS and needs a lot of meds and a special diet to keep it under control. I don’t ask for any help and foot the bills myself, for their meds and therapies. But when I was quoted $5,000 for the surgery, I needed to call for back-up. I called US War Dogs and Chris set to work so the cost of Bruno’s care would be covered.”
US War Dogs negotiated a discount for Bruno’s care through NVA Compassion First, with the organization covering the other $3,495 through its Emergency Care Program.
Willingham added, “All donations made through the Lend a Paw Campaign will go straight towards helping dogs like Bruno. We are so proud to be able to help him and wish him a speedy recovery from his surgery.”
For more information about Pet Supermarket’s Lend a Paw: US War Dogs fundraiser, visit Pet Supermarket.