Wednesday, November 11 marks a day our nation honors its military servicemen and women. It’s also a day Three Dog Bakery pays tribute to returning U.S. veterans with a special promotion aimed at raising money for service dogs.
On Veteran’s Day 2015, Three Dog Bakery and man’s best friend are doing their part by providing military veterans with service dogs. Three Dog Bakery will donate to FISH – Food Industry Serving Heroes – an amount equal to 15 percent of the total product sales it takes in on Veteran’s Day through its bakeries, retail outlets and online. In addition, the company will contribute a year’s supply of its dog food and treats to the recipients of its service dog initiative to further lessen the financial burden on America’s veterans.
FISH is a nonprofit organization designed to engage the food industry in serving military veterans who have sacrificed greatly to guarantee US freedom. With the donations from the Three Dog Bakery Veteran’s Day promotion, FISH will purchase service dogs to distribute to veterans in need. Three Dog Bakery co-owner Aziz Giga says the health and well-being of returning servicemen and women is a subject that is close to his heart.
“I’ve always been humbled by the sacrifices the men and women of our military make on behalf of American freedom, and I recognize the struggles they have returning home,” Giga says. “It’s so important for those of us who have benefited from their sacrifices to do what we can to help. For many, there is no greater need than simple, daily assistance – the kind that can often be provided with a service dog. We are encouraging our suppliers and service providers to participate with us by donating to FISH as well.”
In fact, many returning military personnel and veterans face myriad challenges that can be aided with the use of a service dog, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, immobility and inactivity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, about 3.4 million veterans had a service-connected disability.
Service members and veterans are provided with highly specialized service dogs that help them find a new level of independence in their post-combat life. Service dogs are specially trained to help perform a multitude of tasks that increase the independence of their human partners, including retrieving items from the refrigerator, pushing handicap buttons, turning lights on and off, opening and closing doors and so much more. What was once impossible becomes possible. People paired with service dogs show significant improvements psychologically, socially – even economically.
Not surprisingly, service dogs are in high demand. Wait times for these highly trained canines vary from six months to three years. Training begins when the dogs are young. The most common breeds are Labradors, golden retrievers or a mix of the two. Some organizations charge the recipient for their assistance dog to recoup some of the cost of training the animals. These highly trained canines work on average eight to 10 years before they retire.
“Service and companion dogs have become a life-changing necessity for many returning veterans, but are cost prohibitive for most,” says FISH Founder Paul Chapa.
With 50 million dog owners in the U.S., Three Dog Bakery believes the necessary financial support to provide service dogs is an affirmation of the many benefits provided by living with a dog and a tribute to its loyal customers, the many four-legged friends who press their noses up against the bakery glass or who enjoy their treats at home. Three Dog Bakery will pioneer this annual tradition just as it did the canine bakery concept 26 years ago. Popular among canines and their owners alike, its products feature a diverse array of premium, all-natural, made in the USA treats and food for those special times in a dog’s or family’s life.
Three Dog Bakery oversees nearly 40 boutique bakeries for dogs, located within the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, and is known for its custom-made baked treats. Additionally, the company provides Three Dog Bakery brand and private label packaged products to national and independent pet retailers, grocery, mass, club and drug stores, as well as through direct-to-consumer online sales. Among its most popular products within that retail segment are baked treats, like the Classic Crèmes and Lick’n Crunch cookies.