The human-animal bond and supporting organizations that serve the most vulnerable through a connection with animals has never more important. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor (KCAHC) initiated the Spirit of Service program to recognize not-for-profit organizations that work to improve the health and lives of both animals and people.  Animalytix is proud to be a primary sponsor of the Spirit of Service program.

Chris Ragland, CEO of Animalytix, says ”Our commitment to the Spirit of Service program is a natural fit with the company’s mission to support the animal health industry.  We often say that our industry is more humane than the human medical industry and a big part of that is the human animal bond that we experience on a daily basis.  Animals enrich our lives in so many ways and those organizations that bring those experiences into the lives of children, the elderly or those that may be suffering from a physical or emotional trauma or illness are worthy of our support,”.

 

2021 SPIRIT OF SERVICE HONOREES

    

Going To The Dogs                  

MISSION
The mission of the Going To The Dogs organization is to successfully secure the safety and improve the well-being of law enforcement K9s while on active duty and beyond.

CULTURE
Going To The Dogs is a non-profit organization whose main focus is to purchase and provide ballistic vests for K9s in both Kansas and Missouri.  Since becoming established in 2015, they have made a significant impact to police and sheriffs’ departments as well as the Missouri Highway Patrol, by providing 60 ballistic vests for K9s that would not have otherwise had this line of protection.

In addition to ballistic vests, Going To The Dogs has purchased K9s for smaller communities who cannot afford the $10,000-$12,000 expense of a trained K9.  Going To The Dogs has made great strides in these two areas but there are still unprotected K9s in need of ballistic vests and communities that could better protect their citizens with a four-legged officer.

PROGRAMS
Going To The Dogs works directly with law enforcement agencies, specifically the K9 handlers, to obtain the correct measurements of the dog so that a custom-made vest can be provided.

The cost of each vest is $1,000.  With limited budgets, many departments do not have the means to purchase vests, and often times, deploy their K9s into the front line without any source of protection.  This is where Going To The Dogs can assist.  Purchasing the vests is extremely important to this organization and to the departments in which they support.

Going To The Dogs is based in Leawood, Kansas and all proceeds raised goes to the organization to provide protection for the K9s. 

   

Warriors’ Best Friend    

MISSION
Located in Liberty, Missouri, Warriors’ Best Friend (WBF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to rescuing homeless dogs across the Kansas City area and training them to provide service to several vulnerable populations.

PROGRAMS
For nearly a decade, WBF has provided highly trained service dogs at no cost to military installations and combat veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. WBF’s service dogs allow these veterans to accomplish personal goals like continuing education, employment and improve socialization skills with co-workers, friends and family.

In 2018, WBF launched Operation Schoolhouse, a program expansion focused on providing facility dogs to service special needs populations in K-12 schools.  Placing a trained facility dog in a school classroom or counseling department offers several benefits for children and staff.

For example, mental health research has found that the human-animal bond can help with the following:

  • Decrease feelings of isolation, anxiety, and agitation;
  • Increase socialization and encourage communication and focus.

The Center
The facility dogs master 13 commands, several of the commands specifically help students, faculty, and even parents who are experiencing anxiety or distress.

WBF canines provide:

  • In classroom positive interactions
  • Comfort strategies for anxiety & emotional distress: The COMFORT command directs the canine to apply deep pressure therapy to a person experiencing anxiety or distress.
  • Trauma sensitive interactions and grief support
  • Socialization and language development for students on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities
  • Culture building impact

 

PREVIOUS SPIRIT OF SERVICE HONOREES:

 

If you would like to nominate a not-for-profit organization committed to helping both animals and people for the Spirit of Service, please click here.    

 

SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS:

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