Attention dog lovers: $10,000 grant at stake

Photo of military working dog with flower

In honor of your favorite dog, you can help MWDTSA win a $10,000 grant. We just need your vote. Once a day, every day, between now and the end of the contest.

Sugarlands Distilling Co. in Gatlinburg, Tennessee will be giving away six grants to nonprofits, and we’re in the running. Here’s the way it works:

  • Please visit every 24 hours. Voting resets each night at midnight.
  • Click on our MWDTSA logo and scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter your e-mail address and cast your vote.
  • Bookmark the URL and set a reminder to visit every day until the end of the month.

To get to round #2, we need your help!

The competition started with 48 nonprofits vying for the six grants. On January 10, Sugarlands cut the field in half, based on the number of votes each organization had received. We made that cut!

On January 20, they will again cut the field in half, and we hope to be one of the 12 remaining contenders.

Voting will continue until the end of the month, when Sugarlands will announce the six winners.

What the grant means for MWDTSA

As you know, we send nearly 200 care packages per quarter to military working dog teams deployed in conflict zones overseas. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. Coast Guard. In 2017 alone, we spent over $12,000 on postage to ship these boxes. The Moonshare grant would cover more than 80 percent of our anticipated 2018 postage bill. That would be a huge blessing!

Please share this post with your family and friends. Our diligent military working dog teams will appreciate your support! Best of all, it costs nothing to vote, except a few seconds of your time each day. Thanks for your help!

To learn more about MWDTSA, visit

Co-written with Nikki Rohrig, President, MWDTSA

Photo credit: Rachel Longo

KONGs for K9s Offers Opportunity for Individuals to Give an Item that Keeps Giving

An assortment of red and black KONG toys
Hatos balancing a KONG on his head
Hatos’ balancing act!

MWDTSA created our KONGs for K9s event about 6 or 7 years ago as a way to reach supporters across the country and to round up quality KONG products for Military Working Dogs.

The program is simple, donors make a donation of a requested KONG product at one of our partner stores. At the end of the event, the KONGs will be gathered, counted and matched by another KONG Classic by the KONG company,

This event has been a win-win-win for various reasons. It allows MWDTSA to get quality toys donated without having to spend our precious funding. It allows small pet business partners a way to bring to their customers a method to support military working dogs in a very tangible way.

These stores are accepting donations through the end of October.

Leash On Life

Ms. Julie Phye
432 Highway 1 W
Iowa City, Iowa 52246

Lucky Duck Pet Stuff

Ms. Carla Wynn
3723 E. Chesapeake Beach Road (Rt. 260)
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland 20723

Ma and Paw’s Bakery

Ms. Diane Sanders
1227 East 3300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Top Dogs Pet Boutique

Ms. Suzette Lindsey
2615 George Busbee Parkway
Kennesaw, GA 30114

Top Dogs Pet Boutique

Ms. Suzette Lindsey
900 Mansell Road Suite 13
Roswell, GA 30076

Personal Beast

Ms. Jett Wyatt
8119 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97215
503- 445-9449

Veterans United Craft Brewery

8999 Western Way #104
Jacksonville, Florida 32256

The four California stores will be accepting donations through the end of November.

Pet Suites

19 Journey
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
949- 425-0700

Three locations of The Animal Keeper:

The Animal Keeper

155 Saxony Road
Encinitas, CA
Tel: (760) 753-9366

3532 College Blvd
Oceanside, CA 92056
Tel: 760- 941-3221

12280 Oak Knoll Road
Poway, CA 92064
Tel: (858) 748-9676

It’s A KONG Thing

Hatos balancing a KONG on his head

Thanks to all of our great partners in our KONGs for K9s events, we received matching KONGs today. In fact, so many were matched at one time, that we were asked to have them delivered to a store, because they were going to ship via a pallet. Stepping in to accept the donation on our behalf were local owners of TC Country, Fabio and Sabine Yepes.

KONG toys are a favorite of Military Working Dogs (MWDs) and handlers. The bounce, texture and toughness makes them a perfect toy for a very motivated dog; a great reward for hard work put in by our MWDs.

Once delivered, we received the call from Fabio and Sabine so we rushed up to accept the boxes that arrived and stopped for a moment to take some photos. Inspired by one of our favorite MWD photos, Hatos balancing a KONG on his head, Fabio learned to do the same trick.

Apparently, you can teach an old dog a new trick, as demonstrated by our friend below.

Balancing a KONG on his head

Thanks to all of MWDTSA’s KONGs for K9s partners, the KONG Company matched us one for one.

KONGs in a box

The shipment should last a few months! At least through our next round of care packages.

An assortment of red and black KONG toys

We are appreciative of the hundreds of supporters whose purchase of one KONG at a time allowed us this amazing donation from the KONG Company.

Sorting through KONGs in boxes

62nd Combat Trackers from Vietnam Serve the Dog Handlers of Today

For many years, I have implored dog handlers to stay connected with their K9 friends and their unit, a task made much easier in the age of Facebook and the internet.  I say this because of all of the dog handlers from Vietnam who, in an age of snail mail and no internet, more easily lost touch and couldn’t easily reconnect with friends from their days of service.

Some of them have tried mightily to find others who shared their burdens and shared their sacrifices.  While I can never understand the emotions and the depths of these friendships, I do recognize a commitment to each other and a devotion to duty that still remains even 45-50 years later.

They are also committed to this country and to supporting current dog handlers.  Our 2nd VP and our Webmaster are both Vietnam veterans.  They would hard and do simply remarkable things with little resources.

Our 4th Quarter care packages were designed to recognize and honor this generational support with the theme of “Two Generations- One Cause.”  The boxes were packed in Louisiana at an annual Veterans’ Day reunion and include our 2014 calendar which honors both generations.  We also have donations that were made possible by Vietnam veterans at various companies.  And, on top of all of this the 62nd Combat Trackers and their loving and devoted wives spent time together to make this 4th Quarter Care Package possible.  Thanks to all of them.

photo 3 a

Savannah and the 62nd reunion 155 a
The last photo was taken in June of 2012 at a 62nd IPCT reunion in Savannah, GA. Everyone enjoyed the trip to visit the base and the handlers at Fort Stewart.

Thanks to Burt’s Bees

Thanks to Burt’s Bees, we got some wonderful donations of In Kind products to include in our 2nd Quarter Care Packages. Natural Toothpaste and Tips and Toes Kits, with special collections of wonderful skin care lotions and salves. Who doesn’t love natural?

Burts Bees 2

Please check this great company out at

We included the Burt’s Bees products into a larger bag that we laughingly called the “Hoof and Mouth” bag because it contained many personal care products for dental care and foot care.

Burts Bees 3

Thanks to one of the recipients of the “Hoof and Mouth” bag who photographed her Burt’s Bees items on top of the bag.

Please check out these great donations from RUFFWEAR

DSC_9825If you work long hard hours with your dog on jagged rocks or blistering pavement, you are going to need some quality boots.  We are pleased to share with you that we have received a donation of 15 pairs of these superb boots from the Ruffwear Company.   We have been promised photos of some of the recipients in the boots and will be sure to post them as soon as we receive them.

In the meantime, please check out these awesome boots at  and be sure to stop by and voice your support for a great company giving back to America’s military working dogs.

Thank you Ruffwear!  We appreciate your donation and we know the handlers will appreciate it too, as they asked for you by name!

OOIDA Supports our dog handlers

MWDTSA is proud to partner with OOIDA:  Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association – an association of truck drivers to help round up addresses for their fabulous care packages.  We generally send addresses of handlers who will be deployed for a year and who have additional dog handlers with whom they can share the generous contents of these great packages.

We were first connected with OOIDA via a Vietnam era Combat Tracker dog handler, Bill Casey, from Ohio.  Bill is a member of OOIDA   When Jeanne Dedrick joined the board, she and her husband were also members.  We love truck drivers and OOIDA as they are both a generous and patriotic group.

This organization took on the cause of dogs, in addition to supporting all troops.  Above is one of the care packages they put together to send to some of the kennels down range.

Below are packages received by some of the handlers.

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From the photos, we think the dogs would join OOIDA…. if they could only drive truck….darn those missing opposable thumbs…LOL

Thanks to OOIDA for sending this important support.  Please stop by their website and say thanks:  And, thanks, Adam for the great photos.

Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississppi

Thanks to our great friends at the Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, MWDTSA was able to include decks of playing cards in our last care packages.   What a great way for the dog handlers to pass the time  between missions.  Thanks, Silver Slipper!
We LOVE our donors and ask that you support them whenever you can.

KONGs for K9s Display at Top Dogs in Kennesaw

Jonathan Wahl, 47th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog Veteran , stopping by for Top Dogs Kennesaw

MWDTSA Webmaster and 47th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog Veteran stopped by Top Dogs for a quick visit and “scouting” opportunity at the Kennesaw store on his way through on I-75. While there, he visited with employee Mandy Andree and checked out the items being requested for our dogs, including the KONGs, Solid Gold Shampoo and Conditioners, and grooming supplies.

Thanks to all of our great partner stores for their support, KONGs and other supplies will be in our Christmas packages.

WellPet Treats our k9s with High Quality Jerky Treats

Wellness Logo 100_1879What a great day on Saturday when we gathered up a big donation of Wellness Turkey & Salmon Jerky Treats that were donated by WellPet for our deployed Military Working Dogs. If you pay careful attention to doggy nutrition, you will quickly see that these Wellness treats are top of the line. With two proteins at the top of the ingredient list and absolutely NO grain and nothing artificial in the ingredient list. These are the perfect rewards for a hard working K9. And, in addition to offering stellar nutritional value, they are also light, small and easy to carry in a mission pack.

Handlers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or Djbouti can request these from us while the supply lasts by sending an email to

Thanks again to WellPet. What a class act! We’ll get them out and we appreciate your support.