I feel very fortunate to have a veterinary practice in Los Angeles where I get to know my clients and patients very well over the long term (hopefully more in times of wellness than illness).
Recently, one of my favorite clients, Emmy award-winning actress and star of Glee and Hollywood Game Night, Jane Lynch, agreed to be the special celebrity guest at the Los Angeles Bark Business Tour. Lynch lent her star power to the K9s for Warriors cause, which focuses on rescuing dogs from shelters and training them to be service companions for military veterans.
K9s for Warriors is the brainchild of New York based pet-lifestyle expert, rescue advocate, author, and Animal Fair media founder Wendy Diamond. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the suicide rate and improve the mental health of military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The Unites States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 65 minutes a veteran commits suicide. Additionally, a “study analyzing data from the National Comorbidity Survey, a nationally representative sample, showed that PTSD alone out of six anxiety diagnoses was significantly associated with suicidal ideation or attempts (13).” Therefore, there is a strong correlation between PTSD and military-veteran suicide. An alarming 755,200 veterans suffer from PTSD and 184 new cases are diagnosed every day.
The lucky dogs involved with K9s for Warriors are rescued from the potential fate of euthanasia and trained to meet Canine Good Citizen standards before being paired with their warrior.
Military veteran Leroy Johnston was the recipient of Apache, a sharp-looking canine appearing to be an Australian Shepherd mixed-breed. Johnston and Apache were joined on the “step and repeat” (i.e. red carpet) by Lynch, Diamond, and other eager canine and human participants, including:
-Garret Dillahunt (FOX’s Raising Hope)
-Mark Steines (Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family)
-Courtney Friel (KTLA newscaster)
-Shira Lazar (YouTube’s What’s Trending)
-Frank Decaro (Sirius Radio)
-Audrey Hagar (Hope for Paws founder)
-Sylvie Bordeaux (Los Angeles PR whiz and creator Muffin’s Halo)
-Jodi Ziskin (Blog Talk Radio’s Holistic Pet HQ with Jodi Z)
-Diamond’s companion canine, Baby Hope
-Me (Dr. Patrick Mahaney)
-My personal pooch, Cardiff
Cardiff was sporting his red, white, and blue "Uncle Sam" style in true patriotic fashion while being held comfortably in Lynch’s arms (as pictured above).
Mark Steines gave a moving speech about the recent passing of his father, also a military veteran, who shared the same name as a veteran honored at the gala.
Sponsors of the multi-city Bark Business Tour include:
-Halo, Purely for Pets (co-owned by Ellen Degeneres)
-David Eigenberg, Taylor Kinney and Joe Minosa (NBC’s Chicago Fire)
-Danny Pino (NBC’s Law and Order’s)
-Tyson Beckford (model)
-Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints Coach)
-Craig Newmark (Craigslist Founder)
-John Ingram (Ingram Industries)
For more information or to donate, please visit K9s for Warriors' Cause page.
94% of every dollar received goes directly to the veteran and the service dogs. The remaining 6% goes to fundraising and overhead. To date over $135,000 has been raised, which has helped save 26 lives (3 dogs & 13 veterans).
If you can’t donate, please direct those who can to the K9s for Warriors cause and spread the word through your social media channels.
Video: Jane Lynch/Animalfair.com’s Bark Breakfast for K9s For Warriors – Cory Monteith remarks
For more media coverage of the Bark Breakfast, visit the following: