WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, January 29, 2016 — There are hundreds of military dog teams serving on U.S. military bases around the world, but some of these teams only have a rucksack to live out of for weeks at a time. American Humane and its K-9 Battle Buddies™ program has teamed up with the Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Inc. (MWDTSA) to provide care packages to these heroes, containing vital necessities as well as the comforts of home. The two organizations, as well as volunteers from ABC News and Congressman Richard Hudson’s (R-NC) office, held a special “packing party” at American Humane’s national headquarters in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 28, where almost 200 care packages were assembled and shipped. Each package for dog and handler contains their favorite things from home, and was filled with love. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, these packages contained a special football theme, including toys for the dogs and team apparel for the handlers.
America’s brave military working dogs live, fight and sleep with their human handlers and forge a bond that cannot easily be broken. These teams each save an estimated 150-200 service members both on and off the battlefield and it is our duty to support these K-9 Battle Buddy teams that keep America safe. Every quarter the all-volunteer MWDTSA sends hundreds of care packages to military dog teams around the world. In 2015 alone, they sent 518 packages, helping more than 1,000 dogs and handlers. American Humane paid for the postage to ship the fourth quarter 2015 packages, and is supporting this effort at an even higher level in 2016.
“We are excited to have American Humane host our 38th consecutive set of care packages at their Washington, DC headquarters,” said Nikki Rohrig, the MWDTSA, Inc. president. “We had a tremendous number of volunteers come out to assist with packing and their support will be greatly appreciated by the military working dog teams. We hope that this group effort will bring a bit of home to those hard-working teams who are away from friends and family. MWDTSA is entering our 10th year and we remain committed to ‘supporting both ends of the leash.’”
“American Humane is proud to partner with MWDTSA for such an incredibly moving project,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “We share their mission of honoring our brave warriors human and canine warriors and we were honored to pay postage, donate items for the packages, provide our facilities, and have our team pitch in to pack these precious reminders of home. America remains the home of the free because of the brave.”
This year American Humane is celebrating a century of working with the U.S. military. The K-9 Battle Buddies program helps military K-9 teams on and off the battlefield by facilitating reunions of military dogs and handlers, sending vitally needed care packages to active duty military dog teams, and providing veterinary care for retired war dogs.