Paws in the Park, a great event organized each year by the non-profit K-9 Battle Buddies and pet rescue Carpathia Paws, promotes vaccinating pets and keeping them healthy, while serving a purpose for those in the community, especially veterans.
K-9 Battle Buddies began three years ago by Tony Durham and Patricia Durham, who is the founder and CEO. Tony Durham was a K-9 police officer, and served on calls where fellow combat veterans had committed suicide. According to Durham, saving a rescue dog and giving it to a veteran and having them train their dog through the program has saved lives.
“K-9 Battle Buddies takes rescue dogs and turns them into service dogs for combat veterans at no cost to them,” Durham said. “The program itself is healing as it is designed to offer support from other veterans who are going through the same things. They learn they are not alone and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is no longer a bad word. There is a lot of exposure therapy involved with them training their dog. We offer support for the veterans, their families and dogs. Our program is ran by 90 percent of the veterans it has helped.”
Paws in the Park is an open, low-cost vaccine clinic, as well as a community event. Sponsored by Coastal Community Veterinary Clinic, VIP Promotional Products, Carpathia Paws, Head to Tail Grooming and K-9 Battle Buddies, and supported by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and CVB.
The event is from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at Bryant Commons Park, 438 Oglethorpe Hwy. There will be a vaccine clinic from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., offering different vaccinations and packages for both dogs and cats. All dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers.
“This is the third annual Paws in the Park,” Durham said. “We wanted to offer an affordable way to the public to have their fur babies microchipped so they can be safely returned to the owner. We also wanted to bring attention to the over-population pet problem in our community, help people afford vaccines and recruit people to foster animals and of course, raise funds for both K-9 Battle Buddies and Carpathia Paws.”
There will be dogs and kittens available for adoption at the event as well, she continued. An application, reference check and home checks are required. There will be games, barbeque, pictures with pets and volunteer opportunities available to the human counterparts at the event, Durham added.
“This event brings awareness to our veterans suffering from PTSD and how K-9 Battle Buddies helps,” she said. “There is help for our combat veterans who are suffering in silence. Our service dogs and program are free for combat veterans, and it does help.”