Working Animals, Give Back
It’s a common known fact that a dog with a job is a happy dog. Taking care of our buddies means not just physical exercise, but mental as well. While treat puzzles and training can work for the common house-dog, there are dogs who contribute to society each and every day with their jobs. Through intensive training, honing their natural abilities, these dogs mean business, and they love what they do.
Typically called K-9 Units, these dogs pair with their handler to help in investigating crime. Their duties include: Bomb sniffing, cadaver unearthing, tracking, and much more.
Common Breeds: German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the most typical breeds used in these positions because of their high intelligence.
Did you know? A K9 Dog’s sense of smell can be at least 10,000 times more acute than ours and they can search an area up to four times faster than their human companions and may find things with their sense of smell that humans might miss.
Therapy dogs provide comfort and and affection to people in many settings, including but not limited to airports, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab facilities, mental health institutions, schools, hospitals, cancer centers, hospice facilities, college campuses and can also provide therapy in patients’ homes
Common Breeds: Almost any breed can be a therapy dog as long as they are up to date on their vaccines and friendly with people. Golden Retrievers tend to thrive in this role.
Did you know? Pets can help comfort children. Child psychologists have found that pets can be very comforting to children and help them develop empathy. There is also research being done on how therapy dogs can help children with autism develop social skills.
Search and Rescue Dogs & Detection Dogs
The work of detection dogs can range from bomb sniffing to searching out animal populations. Most common are explosives, illegal drugs, cadavers, wildlife scat, currency, and blood. It takes extensive and specific training to have the dogs detect their ‘prey’. As stated above, a dog’s sense of smell is much more than a human’s. To add to that, a dog's sense of smell is made even keener by an organ in the roof of the mouth that is not found in the human olfactory system and this enables it to "taste" a smell, amplifying a weak smell into a stronger one. Even though the issue of detection dogs is controversial, they are still commonly used throughout airports, along borders, and in criminal cases. This job requires, not only a keen sense of smell, but a hearty disposition to traverse rough terrain, bad weather, and long hours.
Common Breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, Beagle, Belgian Malinois, Basset Hound, Collie, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Foxhound, German Shepherd.
Did you know? A bloodhound can pursue and keep pace with a fugitive for up to 100 miles!
According to the United States Dog Registry, “Service dogs are dogs that have been individually trained to perform a specific task for individuals who have disabilities. The disabilities can vary greatly, and so do the tasks that the service dogs perform. Service dogs can aid in navigation for people who are hearing- and visually impaired, assist an individual who is having a seizure, calm an individual who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even dial 911 in the event of an emergency.” Service dogs must be registered and must wear an identifiable vest or ID to inform the public of their roll. Service dogs are their human’s eyes, ears, notification system, and stress relief. These dogs are on the job 24/7 for their partners, so always ask before approaching them.
Common Breeds: Border Collie crosses, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Setter mixes, Samoyed crosses, and many more.
Did You Know? Service dogs are protected under federal law. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is entitled to a service dog to help them live their lives normally.
Military Working Dogs
Man's best friend has faithfully served in wars since 1939 as scouts, sentries, messengers, and much more. Today, more than 1,000 dogs are trained at any given time by a staff of 125 from all branches of military service. These dogs are true heros in their field. They are partnered with their handler are trained in bomb, weapon and drug detection, tracking, and to attack the enemy. When one of them is relieved from active duty, their handlers and family have first pick of adopting them, keeping the pair together for life.
Common Breeds: Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, and Labradores.
Did you know? Dogs have been in combat with US soldiers during every major conflict, but they were not officially recognized until WWII when Sergeant Stubby was recognized for his valor and forged the way for the military dogs of today.
Vetsource works with K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit organization in Ponte Vedra, Florida that provides trained service dogs to disabled military veterans. K9s For Warriors is an accredited program by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and upholds the highest standards for service dog training for veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma.
Vetsource donates and ships veterinary-prescribed pet medications for service dogs in the program anywhere in the United States. Our goal is to lift the financial burden from military heroes in the program by addressing their pet’s needs free of charge, no questions asked.
Kurt Green, Vetsource Chief Executive Officer, remarks, “On behalf of Vetsource, we want to say thank you to all the servicemen and women who have given their lives protecting our freedom and to those who serve our country each day in the armed forces,” said. “We are excited and humbled to have the chance to provide our service to the members of the K9 For Warriors Program.”