Did you know that it was a war dog that sniffed out Osama Bin Laden and led to his capture? This is only one story of the many to be told about the heroic acts by our military dog heroes and heroines. The United States War Dog Association, Inc. (USWDA) is working tirelessly to raise recognition for these dogs and their handlers with the support of Pet Valu.
Based in Burlington, New Jersey, the USWDA is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the history of military service dogs, establishing permanent war dog memorials, providing support to war dogs and their handlers, and serving as a clearing house for retired dog adoptions across America.
“We learned that there are some 600 to 700 military dogs in the Middle East, plus 200 dog teams providing security to the 8,000 employees of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. I just knew we had to get involved,” said Amy DePaoli, marketing director for Pet Valu. “We approached Ron Aiello, the founder and president of the USWDA, and asked what we could do.”
That was the beginning of what is now a major fundraising effort by Pet Valu on behalf of the USWDA. The fundraiser began in early July and runs through September 11, 2012. Pet Valu is selling themed products including United States flag and camouflage bandanas as well as coupon books. All proceeds will go to the USWDA.
The canine members of the Armed Forces are mainly German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. They are often the first line of defense against danger. Ron Aiello, USWDA founder, is an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam. He said he is alive today because of his German Shepherd partner.
“My dog saved my life on my first patrol,” said Aiello. “I have never forgotten her, and I want everyone to know about the wonderful work these dogs do for their country.”
Today, the USWDA sends out hundreds of packages every month to the dogs and handlers. The packages for the dogs contain treats, toys, rope chews, and ear wash. The handlers receive toiletries and snacks they can carry on patrol. The dogs are also supplied with cooling vests for use during the hottest months of the year. The USWDA supports approximately 250 dogs at any given time.
“We’re especially happy about the support Pet Valu has given us,” said Aiello. “Because of their generosity, we were able to upgrade the quality of the products we send to our dog teams.”
The United States War Dog Association, Inc. can be reached at 1313 Mt. Holly Road, Burlington, New Jersey 08016 Telephone: 609-747-9340 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet Valu is a specialty retailer of pet food, treats, toys and accessories with more than 400 stores located throughout Canada and the United States. Most of the stores are involved in the community to provide fundraisers and work with animal rescues and shelters to host adoption events.
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