Petland Supports Service Dog Group

Pet Age Staff//June 19, 2019//

Petland Supports Service Dog Group

Pet Age Staff //June 19, 2019//

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Press release: Petland, Inc.

Petland and Petland Charities is pleased to announce the results of its May fundraising campaign, which raised more than $25,000 for Heartland Canines for Veterans, a 501c3 organization that provides service and therapy dogs for disabled veterans.

In 2015, Petland, Inc. committed to supporting the cost of one dog per year for five years. The average cost to raise and train each service dog is $7,200. This May, in an effort to provide additional support to meet their growing needs, Petland company stores initiated a ‘Round Up at the Register’ campaign for Heartland and raised more than $17,000. Petland Novi, MI donated $7,200 and Petland stores in both Jacksonville and Pensacola, FL also contributed.

“We all know the benefits of animal companionship and for some veterans, it is the difference between life and death,” said Elizabeth Kunzelman, director of public affairs. “We were excited to go above and beyond our yearly donation with this special fundraising effort to support the dedicated work of Heartland Canines for Veterans.”

“I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Petland Family for its continued commitment to the Heartland mission. During 2018 and through 2019, our organization has successfully paired eight disabled veterans with service dogs who are trained to their individual needs; we are on track to provide at least two more before the end of 2019. None of this would be possible without the support that Petland and its individual franchise owners provide, and the HK9 staff remain dedicated to serving those who served us. We have all witnessed, first-hand, the life-changing effect of a service dog; Heartland’s success stories motivate us to want to make it happen again and again,” said Rob Wise, executive director of Heartland Canines for Veterans. “The HK9 Motto is ‘That They May Never Walk Alone,’ and with the unwavering support of world-class corporations like Petland, they’ll NEVER have to. That is our promise to our veterans, and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

The mission of Heartland Canines for Veterans is to provide purpose-bred, professionally-trained service dogs to veterans in need. These service dogs are provided to the veteran at NO COST to them; Heartland bears all costs relating to procurement, general and veterinary care, training and equipment during the training and pairing process. The organization was established as an active 501c3 non-profit organization in 2015 and is led by a team of veterans, mental health professionals, veterinary staff and professional pet breeders. Heartland’s Service Dog candidates are donated by members of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, and must undergo rigorous evaluation trials and screenings before being accepted into the training program.  A typical service dog training program lasts about 12-14 months, sometimes longer for specialized individual tasks; the ultimate goal is to assist veterans who suffer from illnesses/injuries such as depressive disorders, anxiety, mobility issues and/or Post-Traumatic Stress. Each veteran candidate also completes a thorough application and selection process, designed to identify individual needs, and our board members work with several affiliate veteran organizations to ensure timely and accurate submissions.

Veterans can go to the website for more information and to fill out an initial application.

Petland’s and Petland Charities’ national Community Service outreach includes offering support to local police, sheriff and fire departments as well as support for military veteran service dogs. The assistance for protective K9 units is most often a feeding program, supplies or fundraising for specific items, such as bite-suits or training gear. Petland stores currently support more than 150 K-9 units across the country. Support for veteran service dogs often goes towards the costs associated with raising, training and on-going care.

Petland and Petland Charities are also a supporters of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Law Enforcement Program five K-9 units and began a feeding program for Ohio Rescue Dog Association’s 10 K-9s.

Additionally, Petland supports service and therapy dogs for children through Safari Stan’s Children’s Charities which supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.