October 1st, 2020
Brentwood, Tennessee - Two Tennessee based non-profits have joined forces to work together to aid Police K-9s and Military Working Dogs in retirement with medical care. Project K-9 Hero, which was formed in 2016, currently has assisted 99 retired K-9 Heroes in 33 states with medical care, food, and death benefit assistance. They specialize in paying for medical treatments, surgeries, and prescriptions at 100% for working dogs who have served our country and protected our communities.
The First Responders K-9 Medical Network is a newly formed organization that helps bridge the gap as a liaison between the working dogs’ owners and handlers to organizations like Project K-9 Hero and the medical providers. By negotiating better medical rates through the medical providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, the First Responders K-9 Medical Network lessens the financial burden on the retired K-9 owner or handler. As a general rule, after a first responder K-9 retires, they typically no longer receive funding from the agency they once served.
To solidify this newly formed partnership, Project K-9 Hero has just inducted the First Responders K-9 Medical Network’s Ambassador, K-9 Lexie, into their program as a full-time member. Thus, providing K-9 Lexie with her medical care covered at 100% for the remainder of her retirement, along with her food, and death benefit assistance. “We are honored to welcome K-9 Lexie as the 100th program member in the history of Project K-9 Hero” states Jason Johnson, who is the organization’s Founder and CEO. “As a Tennessee based non-profit we are honored to give back to a local hero who served our state, and to partner with another local organization who will greatly help us with our mission in taking care of the medical needs of K-9 Heroes not only in Tennessee, but across the nation” states Johnson.
K-9 Lexie served with distinction at the Brentwood, TN Police Department from 2010-2020. The female Belgian Malinois was a little over a year old when she was trained and first certified in narcotics detection. Over her career, Lexie has been involved in hundreds of drug related investigations and seizures throughout the State of Tennessee. Lexie is 12-years old now but even in retirement “she still has the energy of a 2-year old” states her handler, Officer Steve Holder.
First Responders K-9 Medical Network is quickly launching its platform to better respond to the direct needs of the community and the nation. Its mission is to build and maintain a provider network for wellness exams, preventative and catastrophic illness or injury care for working K-9s and to minimize the financial burden to the handler by providing low or no cost medical care to retired/uninsured working K-9s. Additionally, First Responders K-9 Medical Network may provide direct or indirect monetary assistance to offset out-of-pocket healthcare cost for K-9 care. “First Responders K-9 Medical Network is actively expanding its outreach, and presence to build a network of manufactures, medical providers and volunteers to provide low or no cost care for uninsured search and rescue, working/retired K-9s” said Max Osbun, the organization’s President. “It’s our goal to bring together many groups and companies to provide the care these animals deserve,” he further stated.
Project K-9 Hero is currently constructing a world-class Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility, along with their Corporate Headquarters in Marion County, Tennessee. This facility will support and further their mission, allowing them to provide an enriching, safe, and healthy environment for retired heroes in need of an immediate home. “Not every K-9 Hero is able to remain with their original handler when they retire,” states Johnson. “Our new facility, along with two adoption cabins, will allow us to make sure that every retired K-9 Hero has a loving home to go to once their service to our country is complete.” You may learn more about their Capital Campaign on their website at: https://projectk9hero.myshopify.com/pages/capital-campaign
“After years of service in law enforcement or military deployment, many of these K-9s retire with complicated medical and dietary needs, sometimes resulting in thousands of dollars of care per year. While employed, these exceptional animals receive a host of benefits including food, shelter, companionship, and veterinary care, but once they retire, the question of how to provide for special needs is a serious consideration for someone thinking of adopting.” says Johnson.
Jason Johnson, who is originally from Michigan and now resides in Tennessee, founded Project K-9 Hero in 2016 to provide care to retired law enforcement and military working dogs. As a former Soldier, Police K-9 Handler/Trainer, High-Threat Protection K-9 Handler in Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. Ambassador, and a Federal Law Enforcement K-9 Instructor himself, Johnson has made it his personal mission to provide assistance to the growing number of retired working dog heroes. “As more and more military and law enforcement agencies employ K-9s to assist on the job, in areas of patrol/apprehension, and drug or explosives detection, the question of how to provide for these K-9s post-employment must be addressed,” explains Johnson. “These K-9 Heroes, in some cases, have given all if not a majority of their lives to guaranteeing our safety, and it is our responsibility to ensure their final days are comfortable and spent in a nurturing and safe environment,” emphasizes Johnson.
In addition to working to pay for medical bills and place these animals in forever homes, Johnson dedicates his time educating law-making officials and the public on the needs of these heroes, most recently working with Congress to introduce the “The K-9 Hero Act” which is HR5081. You may learn more about this historic legislation at:
In addition to working to pay for medical bills and place these animals in forever homes, Johnson dedicates his time educating law-making officials and the public on the needs of these heroes, most recently working with Congress to introduce the “The K-9 Hero Act” which is HR5081. You may learn more about this historic legislation at: https://projectk9hero.myshopify.com/pages/k9-hero-act
Project K-9 Hero is a national nonprofit 501c3 organization, whose mission is to provide medical care, food, and death benefit assistance for our nation’s retired Police K-9s and Military Working Dogs. Project K-9 Hero also helps K-9s who need a home after their service, through rehabilitation and adoption. Project K-9 Hero is dedicated to “Protecting Those Who Protected Us,” by spreading awareness and educating the public.
Learn more about Project K-9 Hero: WWW.PROJECTK9HERO.ORG
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ProjectK9Hero
Learn more about First Responders K-9 Medical Network at https://k9medicalnetwork.org
Follow them on Facebook @K9MedicalNetwork and Twitter @K9MedicalNet
Project K-9 Hero: Jason Johnson - email@example.com
First Responder’s K-9 Medical Network: Max Osbun – max@K9MedicalNetwork.org
Left/Top: K-9 Lexie and her Handler, Officer Holder, who worked together from 2010-2020 together at the Brentwood, TN Police Department.
Right/Bottom: Project K-9 Hero welcomes K-9 Lexie as their 100th program member into their national non-profit organization.