Volunteers Send Care Packages To America’s Dogs On The Front Line

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The American Humane Association (AHA) is sending much-needed Superbowl cheer to servicemembers and military dogs overseas.

AHA is partnering with the Military Working Dog Team Support Association to send almost 200 care packages. Over 40 volunteers came together Thursday to put together the care packages for military dogs and their handlers.

Service dog Axel. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

Service dog Axel. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

Each care package includes a blanket, mug, dog toothbrush, nail trimmer, NFL hat, Bowser Beer, football cookies, PetChatz, Dynamo dog treats, styptic powder, gummy bears, hot cocoa, rice, Altoids and a Nerf ball.

A completed American Humane Association care package. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

A completed American Humane Association care package. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO of AHA, introduced the event, which has partnered with the military for 100 years. AHA said these packages will “bring more than smiles, it will bring hope to these men and women.”

Ganzert explained that military handlers and their dogs are the first targets in a war zone. Military working dogs sniff out weapon caches and improvised explosive devices. If the handler and the dogs can’t go through, the troops don’t go. “This is all about hope,” Ganzert said. “Men and women are heroes, and so are dogs.”

AHA workers listen to Dr. Robin Ganzert's opening remarks. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

AHA workers listen to Dr. Robin Ganzert’s opening remarks. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

Retired Marine Capt. Jason A. Haag says there are over 2,000 military working dogs deployed. On average, each dog saves anywhere from 150 to 200 lives. In November, 2015, AHA secured the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. This act ensures all military working dogs will have transportation home upon their retirement. It also ensures that their human handlers and their families are given the first right of adoption.

Volunteers helped pack care packages. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

Volunteers helped pack care packages. (Credit: Francesca Collins)

“We are home of the free because of the brave and it’s our duty to have love, hope, and compassion for our heroes on the front line, two and four-legged,” Ganzert said.

AHA care packages (Credit: Francesca Collins)

AHA care packages (Credit: Francesca Collins)

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Francesca Collins