Rover Oaks Pet Resort just wrapped its eighth annual month-long donation drive, Operation: War Dogs, to help rescue and bring home our nation’s War Dogs. The funds raised are going to non-profit organization Mission K9 Rescue, the Houston chapter of the United States War Dogs Association (USWDA). The fundraiser began on Memorial Day and ended on July 4, 2018. This year, Rover Oaks’ goal was to raise $20,000 for Mission K9 Rescue through Operation: War Dogs. By July 4, they raised a total of $27,538.
Mission K9 Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to the service of retiring and retired Military Working Dogs and Contract Working Dogs. They provide monetary, transportation, adoption, and professional assistance for these retired hero dogs. They became the 6th chapter of USWDA in 2013 and over the past five years, Mission K9 has rescued over 250 US War dogs and facilitated over 100 dog and handler reunions. They work tirelessly to find adoptive homes capable of meeting the unique needs of a retired military working dog, and reuniting these dogs with their former handlers whenever possible. Videos of some of these reunions can be viewed on their Facebook page here.
“Over the years since we started our annual Operation: War Dogs fundraiser, our Rover Oaks family — both staff and clients — have become avid supporters of Mission K9 Rescue and their struggle to help military working dogs,” said Claire Ellington, General Manager of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Houston. “Dogs are our business and our passion, and to know that military working dogs are languishing in barely habitable kennels overseas, not being brought home to the heroes’ welcome they deserve, is appalling to us. The overwhelming response to this fundraiser from the community and our clients shows that they feel the same way about the War Dogs who have loyally served to protect our country. We are so proud to help Mission K9 Rescue bring dogs back home, get them the medical attention they need, and find loving families to adopt them.”
“Several of our own military veteran employees can attest to the tremendous efforts these canine heroes put forth in serving our country and protecting our service men and women,” added Joy Lee, General Manager of Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy. “So we have a personal as well as a general passion for these dogs and their right to return to the U.S. to enjoy a peaceful retirement.”
During the fundraiser, Rover Oaks encouraged their clients to donate by giving away a free night of boarding at their pet resort to anyone who donated $100 to Mission K9 Rescue. They also gave away custom military style dog tags for every $25 donation, and anyone who donated received a dedicated donation paw to place on the wall in Rover Oaks’ lobby. By July 4, both Rover Oaks locations had walls full of donation paws. Not only did they beat their fundraising goal of $20,000 this year, but this brought the new all-time fundraising total to over $150,000 since the annual fundraiser began in 2011.
Mission K9 Rescue Founder and President, Kristen Maurer, came to Rover Oaks Pet Resort on Thursday July 5th to receive the funds raised by the Rover Oaks team. She brought with her “Gina” and “Kilo”, two retired Military Working Dogs rescued from desolate living conditions in Kuwait after having served as contract bomb-sniffing dogs for the United States Military. Every detail of their journey home, rehabilitation and adoption were orchestrated by Mission K9 Rescue. Their ability to help these K9 heroes is entirely dependent on the monetary support of donors.
When asked what this fundraiser means to Mission K9 Rescue, Maurer said, “We are so grateful to Rover Oaks for this amazing fundraiser. This money helps us continue to rescue and care for more War Dogs and achieve our mission. These dogs do so much for mankind, and this fundraiser allows us to continue to give back to them.”
“Rover Oaks stepped up to the plate and hit a home run for War Dogs everywhere,” said Bob Bryant, Co-Founder of Mission K9 Rescue. “These donations provide for care, boarding, transportation, and development. Without organizations like Rover Oaks, we would be very limited in our ability to effect positive change for United States War Dogs.”
Today, all branches of our armed forces are utilizing Military Patrol Dogs specializing in drug and bomb/explosive detection. Many people don’t know that there are literally thousands of these dogs that have risked their lives in the protective service of our military personnel. Our military service dogs have worked to detect bombs, drugs, weaponry and much more. They deserve a chance to rest and play as they move on from their service, and donations to Operation: War Dogs will make that possible.
For more information on Mission K9 Rescue or to make a donation to support their cause, visit missionk9rescue.org.