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ZOETIS LAUNCHES NEW HEALTHCARE PROGRAM TO BENEFIT RETIRED MILITARY AND POLICE DOGS
Source: Zoetis news release

Zoetis, the leading animal health company, today announced the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program, a new program to provide veterinary medical support for retired military and police dogs.

The RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program will help with annual healthcare costs for as many as 500 retired military and police dogs. Each recipient will receive $300 on a debit card annually that can be used for services offered at their veterinary clinic such as wellness exams, vaccinations or grooming. The program is sponsored by Zoetis' product RIMADYLŪ (carprofen), the most prescribed canine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). A diagnosis of osteoarthritis is not required for participation in the program.

Zoetis also has joined with The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve and the National Police Dog Foundation (NPDF) to help spread the news about the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program and verify applicants. The company is donating an additional $10,000 to both of these partner organizations to support their general work for service dogs. Zoetis' overall contribution for the healthcare costs of the retired dogs and the donations to the partner organizations will total up to $170,000.

Steve Leder, Senior Vice President, U.S. Companion Animals, Channel and Diagnostics, for Zoetis, presented a check to Diane Whetsel, Board Chair of The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve, during a launch event on Tuesday, January 20 at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando. NPDF will be recognized at a ceremony to be held during the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) on Tuesday, February 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Military and Contract Working Dogs (MWDs and CWDs) have saved countless lives by detecting explosive devices, locating weapons caches and alerting to enemy locations in war zones around the world," Whetsel said. "Yet, when their service is no longer needed, their future becomes uncertain. Unlike human soldiers, these canine heroes receive no retirement benefits or health insurance. The Sage Foundation for Dogs is excited to partner with Zoetis to support healthcare for these valiant dogs."

"The relationship between military and police officers and their canine partners is a prime example of the human-animal bond in action," said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Group Director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations, for Zoetis. "These dogs have risked their lives and served courageously to help keep us safe at home and overseas. We are pleased to help support their veterinary care so these brave dogs can remain comfortable in their retirement years."

For more information about the how to apply for the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program or how to help these special dogs, go to www.rimadylk9courage.com.

Cpl. Matthew Foster and Sgt. Mick

After returning from active duty in Afghanistan, Cpl. Matthew Foster, United States Marine Corps, never gave up on his goal to adopt his explosives detection dog, Sgt. Mick, a black Labrador retriever. Now honorably discharged and living with Mick in Aurora, Colorado, Cpl. Foster understands the value of programs such as RIMADYL K-9 Courage for retired military dogs such as Mick and for their human partners.

"I know firsthand the wear and tear on these dogs while they are in service, and having a program to help offset their medical needs after retirement is very useful," he said. "After what you go through with your dog in the military and then to adopt them afterward, you wouldn't want to say goodbye to your partner because you couldn't afford to take care of him."

About The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve

The mission of The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve is to promote the welfare of dogs who have faithfully served-often in harm's way-in wars, police work, crime prevention and rescue efforts. The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve provides medical funding through donations and strives to educate the public about the value of these four-legged soldiers once their tours of duty are complete. For more information, go to http://sagefoundationfordogs.org/.


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