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December 3, 2008 > Dog Bless America

Dog Bless America

Fremont Animal Hospital hosts Christmas drive for war dogs and marines

By Monica L. Barbara

You've seen them in action on TV. They're loyal, exacting and help catch the bad guys or sniff out danger, all while being adorable. But, did you know that law enforcement service dogs, or K-9s, are not just for police?

There are currently 2,500 military working dogs (MWD) in use by the United States, typically German Shepherds. Commonly referred to as war dogs, these specially trained K-9s have been serving alongside America's military since WWI, often the difference between a dangerous situation and a fatal one. Charlie Cargo, a Vietnam dog handler remembers one such incident, "He latched onto my hand. He gave me a friendly nip on the hand and looked at me. Wolf absolutely would not let me go by him. I looked straight ahead and not more than two feet was a tripwire. I would have died right there with him if he wouldn't have found that wire."

It is stories such as these that have inspired the Fremont Animal Hospital to host a "Dog Bless America" Christmas drive to support American Armed Forces Service Dogs. Each year, Dr. Margo Hogan chooses a cause for the hospital to support during the holiday season. This year that cause was close to home. Christina Paul, who works at the hospital and is married to Sgt. Scott Paul who recently returned from service, suggested that the hospital support both MWDs and marine squadrons from Camp Pendleton.

Want to make a difference? Here's your chance. The Fremont Animal Hospital has identified the following needs for MWDs:

K9 boots
K9 cooling vests
K9 cooling mats
K9 cooling collar
K9 shampoo & conditioner
K9 eye drops
K9 ear wash
K9 flea & tic treatment
K9 salves for paws/noses
K9 toothpaste & brush
K9 jerky: beef, rice, vegetable, etc.
K9 grooming tools: combs, brushes, etc.
Doggles collapsible nylon dog bowls
Kongs (3" rubber ball)
Large rope chews
Dog beds or pillows
Dog biscuits (1 lb. boxes)

The hospital will be accepting monetary and item donations through December 12 during their normal business hours: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Donations will be packed for shipment to Iraq on December 15.

Items can be purchased from local pet stores and submitted for donation to the Fremont Animal Hospital at 45962 Warm Springs Boulevard. It is best to check with personnel at the animal hospital for specifications since some items identified must meet rigid requirements to be used in training and field work. For more information, contact the Fremont Animal Hospital at (510) 656-1852.

The Fremont Animal Hospital is also accepting care packages and cards for marines stationed in Iraq. Much needed items include toiletries, baby wipes, sheets, socks, and towels. Thoughtful cards are especially meaningful to servicemen and women without family stateside.

Your care packages and cards can be submitted for donation at the Fremont Animal Hospital located at 49562 Warm Springs Boulevard. For more information, contact the Fremont Animal Hospital at (510) 656-1852.

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