Natural pet food leader makes Hero’s Banquet Available Year Round
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 16) – K9s For Warriors and Merrick Pet Care are once again joining together to demonstrate the effective role service dogs play in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD) among American military veterans.
Merrick announced today at Global Pet Expo it will now offer its Hero’s Banquet canned recipe year round and donate a portion of the item’s proceeds to underwrite research on how pairing specially trained rescue dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), helps veterans readjust to civilian life. The research will be conducted by Purdue University’s Center for the Human-Animal Bond.
“More than half a million war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disability and struggle to see that there is life after combat,” said Shari Duval, president, K9s For Warriors. “We know these specially trained service dogs give warriors suffering from PTSD a new leash on life and with Merrick’s help we are now going to be able to scientifically validate this particular treatment’s success. With this evidence, we hope to increase political and financial support of trained service animals as an effective treatment intervention for PTSD.”
“There is currently no comprehensive evidence to support the validity of service dogs as an effective therapeutic intervention for veterans diagnosed with PTSD or their families and we’re hoping to change that,” said Greg Shearson, CEO of Merrick Pet Care.
The $250,000 donated by Merrick will allow for research to create guidelines to predict efficacy based on warrior characteristics and to identify the organizational and service dog training standards required to achieve desired outcomes.
Merrick’s help and commitment to veterans and service dogs also includes hundreds and thousands of pounds of high-quality food and treats it provides to K9s For Warriors. In addition to feeding these best service dogs ever, Merrick launched a limited-edition special can recipe of Merrick dog food, Hero’s Banquet, last fall, honoring American military veterans. The 12.76 oz. can will now be available nationally year-round at Petco, independent pet supply stores and online with a suggested retail price of $2.99 beginning in September.
K9s For Warriors helps veterans with PTSD and/or TBI have a new outlook on life. The non-profit group carefully selects dogs for their program from animal shelters across the country and professionally trains them at their facility. The dogs are then matched with warriors with whom they live, learn and bond together for three weeks with up to 16 other warrior-dog teams.
For more information about the Merrick/K9s for Warriors partnership, watch one warrior-dog team story, click here or visit www.merrickpetcare.com or follow the brand on Facebook or @MerrickPetCare on Twitter using the hashtag #BestDogEver.
About K9s for Warriors
K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury as a result of military service post 9/11. Their goal is to give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes, empowering warriors to return to civilian life with dignity and independence. Learn more at www.K9sforwarriors.org or visit www.facebook.com/K9sforwarrior for regular updates.
About Merrick Pet Care
Founded in 1988, Amarillo-based Merrick Pet Care, Inc. is a leader in natural and organic pet food. With a mission to create the most nutritious and wholesome food, Merrick families take better care of their pets by cooking up nutritious real whole foods for pets. All recipes are cooked in the USA using only the freshest ingredients grown by local farmers. The company offers a wide variety of dry and wet foods, as well as treats, that are available nationally at independent pet specialty stores, Petco, and online via select retailers. In April 2012, Merrick Pet Care Inc. acquired Castor & Pollux and its ORGANIX, Natural Ultramix and Good Buddy food and treats for pets. These brands are available at PetSmart, natural grocery, and online via select retailers. For more information, visit www.merrickpetcare.com or www.castorpolluxpet.com.