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Desert Dogs

March 23, 2011

An American soldier with an Australian Cattle Dog in Queensland, Australia during WWII

Pet Supplies “Plus” Stores Help Military Working Dogs Get the Gear They Need

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.Military working dogs (MWD’s) toil alongside soldiers patrolling the streets and protecting the citizens in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, often in harsh and unforgiving climates and dangerous situations.  But while everything a soldier needs, from socks to weapons, is provided, the necessary protective gear for the dogs is an out-of-pocket expense for their handlers.  To help defray some of the costs, the Pet Supplies “Plus” stores in Chesterfield and Clinton Township, Michigan, are holding fundraising events to benefit Desert K-9’s, a Metamora, Michigan-based organization that provides MWD’s with the protective gear they need at no cost to their handlers.  The Clinton Township fundraiser will take place on Saturday, April 2 and the Chesterfield fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, May 21.  Both events will take place between 11 AM and 3 PM in the stores.

Through a special arrangement with its merchandisers, Pet Supplies “Plus” will kick off the fundraiser by donating boxes of supplies to Desert K-9’s, which is part of the Desert Angels military support organization.  These supplies will be included in special canine versions of Desert Angels’ Miracle Boxes, which are packages of essential items sent to men and women serving in the military overseas.  The Miracle Boxes for MWD’s will contain items such as toys, waterless shampoos, ear cleaner and wipes.  Miracle Boxes and Desert K-9’s mascot, K-9 Joe, were named in memory of Joseph Miracle of Ortonville, Michigan, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

Donations to Desert K-9’s are needed because protective gear for the dogs can be quite costly for their handlers.  A typical MWD working in Afghanistan or Iraq will need a cooling vest to protect him from the heat of the desert; boots to protect his feet from hot sand and pavement and cold winters; and special dog goggles (doggles) to protect his eyes from sand and debris.

“Military dogs work just has hard as their human counterparts, and unfortunately the protective gear they need is not supplied to them,” said Jeff Bonanni, owner of the Chesterfield and Clinton Township Pet Supplies “Plus” stores.  “By donating these supplies to Desert K-9’s and holding the fundraisers to help the dogs’ handlers pay for the necessary equipment, we can take a huge burden off their shoulders.  We know that the supplies and money will be appreciated.”

To learn more about Desert Angels, visit www.thedesertangel.org.

Founded as a single pet store in Redford, Michigan, in June 1988, Pet Supplies “Plus” is the third largest retail chain the pet industry with over 240 stores in 23 states.  The Clinton Township Pet Supplies “Plus” store is located at 44241 Garfield and the Chesterfield store is located at 50633 Gratiot Ave.  For more information, contact Marie Skladd, Pet Supplies “Plus” Events and Marketing Director at 248-347-1900, x106, mskladd@petspuppliesplus.com, or visit www.petsuppliesplus.com.

 

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