The has announced grants totaling $2.75 million to the and the .
A $250,000 grant to USWDA will support efforts to bring home retiring military and contract working dogs serving overseas, reunite them with their handlers, and provide medical care. Military working dogs serving overseas currently are not eligible for military transport home and may be retired in the country where their service ends. In addition to assisting military K-9 handlers who wish to adopt their dogs with transportation home and ongoing medical care, USWDA works to help other war dogs that have served.
The foundation also has invested $2.5 million to build a training facility at the Search Dog Foundation's National Training Center in Santa Paula, California, where rescued dogs will be trained to become rescue dogs. The first center of its kind in the United States will provide a training ground for search and rescue teams to work with their canines in an environment that simulates conditions in the wake of various types of disaster.
"Saving shelter dogs and transforming them into heroes highlights the true potential of these smart canines and inspires others to partner to save lives," said Petco Foundation executive director Susanne Kogut. "The transformative impact that these dogs have on so many lives is nothing short of heroic, and our partnerships with the Search Dog Foundation and the United States War Dog Association will ensure these courageous heroes are well prepared for this important work and rewarded with a loving home after their years of service."