We often take the opportunity to focus on and honor the courage of the many people in our military and law enforcement ranks, who have offered their lives in the defense and security of this country. As well we should for the courage and sacrifice this service requires! At the same time, we can also remember that many K9 forces are active duty as well, and are working equally hard alongside soldiers, police officers, and search and rescue operations to save lives both in our country and around the world. Today is K9 Veterans Day, devoted to honoring the canine heroes who have many times given their lives to protect ours.
A memorial service is usually held at Fort Atkinson, WI. But even if you can’t attend, there are many ways you can celebrate our canine defenders!
You can, for instance, donate to organizations that provide armor, first aid kits, and other life-saving equipment designed specifically for service dogs, such as Kevlar for K9s or Project Paws Alive. Also, when a military working dog is retired from the service, there’s no guarantee that it will immediately be provided with a new home or family. A couple organizations, such as Mission K9 Rescue or the Warrior Dog Foundation are nonprofits that work hard to care for retired working dogs, giving them temporary shelter while running adoption operations to find them new forever families (or even reuniting them with the soldiers or human service members who once worked with them in the field). These organizations can often use funds to continue to provide food, shelter, and facility upkeep, and certainly appreciate it when people spread the word about working dogs that are now up for adoption.
Of course, another great way to help support canine courage is to spread the news among your friends and family about the holiday, and educate them about the vital role dogs play in our national health and security. This holiday is not yet nationally recognized, but if you feel it’s a worthy cause, you can join the effort to establish it as such via the holiday’s main website: http://www.kcfadogs.org
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