Last year, organizers raised more than $10,000 for the U.S. Military K-9 Fund through Operation: War Dogs. As of Tuesday -- the first day of the drive -- they had already raised more than $1,000. Organizers say they hope their early success is a sign that this year will be even bigger and better.
"This will be our third year to host Operation: War Dogs, and every year we see an even greater response from the community. I am so honored to see how generously our community responds in helping to raise funds for US Military K-9 Fund," said Steve Smith, owner of Rover Oaks Pet Resort, which organizes and hosts the annual dirve. "It's evident that helping the dogs who serve in our armed forces is a cause near and dear to the hearts of Houstonians. Our soldiers, both two and four-legged, risk their lives every day to ensure our freedom; and we are so lucky just to have the opportunity to honor them in some way."
All branches of American armed forces use military patrol dogs specializing in drug and explosive detection. Currently, there are about 600-700 of these canines in the Middle East in such places as Kuwait, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, patrolling bases, military compounds, ammunition depots and military check points.
U.S. Military K-9 Fund is the local Houston chapter of the United States War Dogs Association. U.S. Military K-9 Fund exists to provide much-needed support to military working dogs serving in the armed forces. They also assist retired military working dogs when they need help with travel expenses involved in returning to the U.S. from bases overseas. This nonprofit organization is driven completely by unpaid volunteers and uses 100 percent of every donation to support their mission.
During Operation: War Dogs, donors can stop by Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Houston near Reliant Stadium or Rover Oaks Katy near Katy Mills Mall to make a contribution. You can also simply mail a check to Rover Oaks made out to "U.S. Military K-9 Fund."
Rover Oaks Pet Resort will be giving away a free night of lodging at their facilities to every donor who contributes $100 or more. Donations of $25 will receive a commemorative Army dog tag necklace. In addition, Rover Oaks will decorate their facilities with patriotic paw prints presenting the names of the clients and community members who contribute. Donors can also contribute in honor of a soldier they wish to recognize.
These donations will help provide an abundance of critically needed items including K9 medications, food, grooming tools, bedding and other necessities.
"Rover Oaks and Operation: War Dogs have been a godsend to us," said Bobbie Miller, founder of U.S. Military K-9 Fund. "It's donations like these that enable us to do what we do."
Donations are being accepted at either Rover Oaks location. Rover Oaks Houston, 713-662-2119, is located at 2550 West Bellfort, Houston 77054. Rover Oaks Katy, 281-693-7687, is located at 24250 Kingsland Blvd., Katy 77494. To learn more about Rover Oaks or for directions, visit www.roveroaks.com. For more information on U.S. Military K-9 Fund, visit www.usmilitaryk-9fund.org.
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