The Pets and Vets service dog program at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation could get up to $500,000 from Purina Dog Chow, which has launched a two-prong campaign in support of ARF's efforts to help veterans and rescue dogs.
Purina has a long history of supporting the U.S. military, and officials with the company said they know the impact service dogs can have on the lives of veterans, providing them with stability and companionship as they readjust to civilian life.
The Dog Chow Service Dog Salute campaign will donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of marked bags of Dog Chow Complete Adult with Chicken food, with up to $250,000 going to ARF.
Purina also is working with BuzzFeed to share the powerful stories of veterans and rescue dogs who have been brought together through ARF. Pet lovers are invited to watch the video https://bit.ly/2un9ydv, and for each unique video share Dog Chow will donate $1 – up to $250,000 – to ARF's veterans program.
The campaign started July 4 and will run through Veteran's Day, Nov. 11.
"Dog Chow has long been a supporter of our servicemen and women," said Purina Dog Chow's marketing director Arik Frankel in a written statement. "Our partnership with ARF reflects our ongoing commitment to helping our American heroes and demonstrating the powerful connection between dogs and their owners."
When Purina's founder, William Danforth, served during World War I, and when he founded Purina in 1926, he called the brand Dog Chow as a salute to the military chow lines that kept the soldiers going.
For the past 92 years, Purina has made food and monetary donations in support of veterans, and made a commitment to hire many veterans.
The donations from the Service Dog Salute campaign will help fund the expansion of ARF's groundbreaking veterans program to reach even more veterans in need.
"Our veterans program changes lives and has already placed more than 600 animals with military families, including 45 potential service dogs in the past year," said Elena Bicker, ARF's executive director. "This generous support from Dog Chow will help us grow our program and continue to help save lives on both ends of the leash."