The six dogs are trained to smell an array of explosives and materials used to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The dogs go with the Marines everywhere, whether by foot, in helicopters, in armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and in MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (MATVs). The handlers and dogs work closely with Afghan police forces to establish and maintain security of the area.
The money collected will be used for Lactated Ringer’s Solution (LRS) to be administered under the dog’s skin to keep them hydrated in the extreme heat. The temperatures in Afghanistan can exceed 120â—¦ F during the summer months. In addition to the supplies purchased, the money will be used for shipping costs and other items such as rawhides, toys, and all-weather booties for the dogs.
“It takes a lot to help keep a working dog healthy and comfortable out here in this climate,” says Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hill of Longmont, the battalion’s Kennel Master. SSgt. Hill is responsible for the training and well-being of the dogs as well as their handlers. SSgt. Hill is with the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment and is on his 4th combat deployment.
AMVS has collected over $6,000, which has allowed AMVS to send the first shipment. Six boxes have been sent, one for each dog (and handler). Each box contained six- one liter bags of LRS, six fluid lines, dog treats and candy, and a personalized note of gratitude.
“What a wonderful gift this organization has given to our four-legged Marines,” said Nori Jackson, the battalion’s Family Readiness Officer. Jackson is the liaison between the battalion and their families.
AMVS’s immediate priority is with SSgt. Hill and his team of handlers and dogs. Any money that is remaining from this fundraiser will be used towards other working dogs in our community, such as our Search and Rescue dogs and Canine Police Officers.
“We are so elated of the response we have had from the community,” said Dr. Matthew Rooney, owner of AMVS. “It is amazing how much support we have received.”
Those wishing to contribute to this cause should contact Kelly Walker at 303-678-8844 or send checks payable to AMVS to 104 S. Main St, Longmont, CO 80501. All money will be used for purchasing and shipping the essential items and/or using the money towards other working animals in our community.
Marine handlers update 1 – Aug. 2010