Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket Raise Funds for Veterans and Service Dogs
Ron Aiello (middle), president of the United States War Dogs Association, accepts this year’s donation from Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket.
The United States War Dogs Association will be able to launch two new programs for veterans and service dogs after receiving $755,097 from a fundraiser spearheaded by Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket.
Between Independence Day (July 4) and Patriot Day (Sept. 11), customers visiting Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket locations were able to purchase limited-edition bandanas for $5 or make a personal donation of any amount. The $755,097 check was presented to the association at the conclusion of the fundraiser.
“For the past nine years, our partnership with the U.S. War Dogs Association has allowed our valued Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket customers to help us contribute to a cause that we are immensely passionate about,” said Tina Shane, chief store operations officer at Pet Retail Brands, which owns both Pet Valu, based in Wayne, Pa., and Pet Supermarket, based in Sunrise, Fla. “The work that the U.S. War Dogs Association does directly benefits heroes on both ends of the leash, and we thank all our customers who continue their support of our great American heroes.”
One of the new programs, Project Thunderstorm, supports veteran service dogs suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program provides the dogs with anxiety vests called ThunderShirts, which gently apply pressure and are proven to help calm pets in distress, company officials said. In addition to the vests, the program also provides veteran dog owners with calming oils and chews that can help soothe pets that have experienced trauma, officials added.
The second program that was launched this year trains rescued dogs to become service pets for veterans with PTSD at no cost to the recipient. The association partners with the K9 Basco Foundation in Texas to help train the rescue dogs. To date, this program has trained 10 service dogs for veterans in need.
“Every year, we are amazed at what we are able to accomplish as a result of the generous donations from Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket,” said Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association. “This year, we were able to start two new programs for veterans—both human and four-legged—as a direct result of the contributions, and for that, we are sincerely grateful.”
Since 2010, Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket have together raised over $3 million for the association.