Paws of Honor

The goal of Paws of Honor (POH) is to provide veterinary care and products at no charge* for retired military and law enforcement K-9’s across America that have served our country, locally or globally.   Retired K-9’s deserve accessible, high quality veterinary care in return for their commitment and sacrifice for our country and the monetary burden associated with veterinary care should not fall on the shoulders of the officer/handler/owner once the K-9 has been decommissioned.

*Based on charitable contributions


All across America there are retired military and law enforcement K-9’s, which like any pet, need proper medical attention to live healthy happy lives.  Because of the demanding nature of their jobs, many of these K-9’s require additional care, especially as they age, for problems such as arthritis, separation anxiety and pain management.

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Paws of Honor will partner with selected veterinarians, dog food companies, veterinary supplies distribution companies and drug manufacturers, as well as with charitable contributions from private and corporate partners, to provide services and products for the retired K-9’s with the goal of  zero cost*  to the officer/handler/owner.

*Based on charitable contributions

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Our current K9s in need of urgent, life-saving medical care

Please help

Cody, Duffy & Maggie F 

We kindly ask that you join us in supporting our dedicated police and military K9 officers and their amazing K9 partners. Your gift will help provide immediate financial support so they can receive potentially life-saving treatments, medicines, and other supplies. Help us keep our K9 heroes safe and healthy by supporting their medical care. They have worked their whole lives serving our communities and keeping us safe and now it’s our turn to take care of them. 

If we band together, we can continue providing their needed medical care at *no cost to the Officer/Soldier/Handler (*based on contributions). Even a $5.00 or $10.00, when combined with the gifts from our other K9 advocates makes a significant difference. The alternative is to begin limiting the services and/or amount of care we can provide to family and their retired K9 hero. That is our last resort, but to keep our doors open, one that we may need to consider within the next week(s). To help them in any way is OUR duty in order to thank them for protecting us. But we cannot continue this level of care without your support. Simply put, with the loss of all our spring and summer fundraising events and a projected 40% drop in our individual donations we are struggling.  

We have treated six (6) medical emergencies in the last three weeks that have placed a great strain on our already dwindling finances. Paws of Honor has always been a donor-driven organization, receiving ZERO state or federal funding. We find ourselves in a position we never imagined, unable to attend in-person events leaving us essentially unable to raise the nearly $40,000.00 needed to care for these sick dogs. Our nation’s retired K9 heroes need your support now more than ever! That is why we’re asking you to help us cover the cost of caring for these amazing animals by donating to our Veterinary Care Program.

Paws of Honor has taken over the financial pressure for over 200 K9 handlers and their families since 2015. Many handlers are currently essential personnel working their new K9 partners in stressful environments. 

K9s In Current Need

K9 Cody came into our affiliate hospital Old Dominion Animal Health Center on Friday, April 17th for a wellness check due to soft stool, anxiety, and bloating. X-rays determined he had a large mass in his abdomen, and he was sent for an urgent ultrasound at the specialists to determine more. Thankfully the mass had not ruptured, and he had an emergency splenectomy. The mass removed was the size of a child’s basketball. Unfortunately, Cody has developed severe, life-threatening complications. The cost of Cody’s medical care as of Monday morning (4/27) is $16,000.00-$17,000.00 and he’s not out of the woods yet (read more about Cody here)

K9 Duffy was playing in his yard, enjoying his retirement with his dad when he suddenly stopped and began dragging his back leg. He was dragging his leg as if he could no longer feel it and was bearing no weight at all. He was rushed to our affiliate hospital Old Dominion Animal Health Center and diagnosed with a complete rupture of his ACL/CCL. He will undergo surgery at Veterinary Surgical Centers Vienna at an estimated cost of $4,399.00 (read more about Duffy here) 

K9 Maggie F. was diagnosed with a breathing problem called Laryngeal Paralysis. This is a common condition of middle to older aged dogs, but Maggie’s condition has worsened to the point of needing surgical intervention. The estimated cost of Maggie’s surgery is $4,000.00-$5,000.00 (read more about Maggie here)

K9 Rayco broke his canine tooth, exposing the nerve and his estimate for surgery and treatment is $3,722.30 (read more about Rayco here)  

K9 Gary recently had a routine dental cleaning where a small oral mass was found. Pathology and testing determined that it was cancer. Gary’s treatment estimate is still pending but expected to be well over $6,368.00 (read more about Gary below)

K9 Ringo was brought into the hospital heavily bleeding from his rectum. A mass was diagnosed, and he will need to undergo surgical removal of the mass and testing to determine what it is. The estimate for Ringo’s surgery and initial diagnostics is $3,000.00-$4,000.00. Depending on the results, further treatment may be necessary (read more about Ringo below) 

Their combined care is estimated at over $37,489.30-$40,090.30  

Normally we would rely on our fundraising events to fund the majority of our program however with the loss of all of our spring and summer fundraising events for 2020 we are relying on you, our donors, more than ever to help us make their care possible.  

K9 Gary: Gary worked for the federal government sniffing out explosives. He recently had a routine dental cleaning courtesy of Paws of Honor. A very small (less than 1/4 inch in size) oral mass was found in front of his upper third premolar. This was removed and submitted for pathology. Unfortunately, and quite unexpectedly, the results came back as cancer, a very aggressive malignant melanoma. The cost of Gary’s dental and testing was $3,368.07 and the recommended surgery that is needed is approximately another $3,000.00 for a total cost of $6368.07. You see, the report indicated that the mass was not completely removed. These types of tumors tend to extend far beyond the visible mass. So, Gary is now scheduled for a surgery called a partial maxillectomy. The surgeon will have to remove the tooth, the one immediately adjacent to it, and the soft tissue around them. This is major surgery, and he is going to need the surgeon’s expertise, some good pain management, and attentive nursing care but we are hopeful that Gary can overcome this and enjoy the remainder of his retirement.   

K9 Ringo: K9 Ringo spent his career in Explosive Detection as well, starting in 2010 and retiring in 2017. Ringo did an honorable job protecting Americans in war zones accumulating 10 deployments by the time he retired. His nose helped find explosives in high stress and dangerous situations with the aid of his handler to ensure the safety of those who have families waiting for them back home. K9 Ringo has earned his retirement and loves being with his family, playing with his miniature soccer ball and his stuffed lamb “Lamb Chop!” Paws of Honor has been providing Ringo’s medical care for 3 years and he has never needed any medical care other than his regular checkups until now.

He was recently brought in because he was bleeding heavily from his rectum. A mass was found, and he needs surgery to have the mass removed and testing to determine what it is. Depending on the results, further treatment may be needed. The estimate for Ringo’s initial surgery and testing is $3,000.00-$4,000.00


While we’re all facing great challenges at this time, we hope that you can find some peace knowing that retired K9s will continue to receive life-saving veterinary and medical care because of your generosity. On behalf of all of us at Paws of Honor, thank you for being a part of our community. We wish you and your family health, safety, and happiness and want you to know that together, we can overcome all things.

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