to Build Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility to Serve More Retired Working Dogs
[Whitwell, TN - October 2023] Project K-9 Hero is proud to announce the formation of the Project K-9 Hero Capital Campaign Committee, dedicated to securing funding for its planned Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility. The Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility, to be built at Project K-9 Hero’s 177-acre sanctuary in the Tennessee mountains, will consist of a rehabilitation building with capacity for 14 special needs K-9 Heroes, a corporate headquarters, a maintenance building, a K-9 caretaker’s residence to ensure staff is on site 24/7 and two adoption cabins, providing temporary accommodation for potential adopters. The Project K-9 Hero team has completed blueprints, civil engineering, site preparation, and has a construction team ready to break ground as soon as the funding is secured, with a goal to complete construction over the next three years. Find more information about Project K-9 Hero’s Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility athttps://projectk9hero.org/pages/capital-campaign.
Project K-9 Hero was founded by Jason Johnson, a U.S. Army Veteran, to save the lives of working dogs retired from police agencies, fire departments, search and rescue organizations, federal law enforcement, and all branches of the U.S. military by providing medical care, rehabilitation, and rehoming services. Project K-9 Hero’s mission is to provide these K-9 Heroes with a comfortable and dignified retirement.
“This state-of-the-art Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility will serve K-9 Heroes for generations, providing them with a safe place to reside after their service, and an alternative to euthanasia for those with behavioral issues,” says Johnson, the organization’s founder and visionary behind this new facility.
The Project K-9 Hero Capital Campaign Committee is made up of seven committed supporters:
Matthew Smith – Committee Chair
Matthew is passionate about animals and animal wellness, having spent close to 20 years in the pet industry. Matthew lives in Tennessee with his wife and four rescue dogs. His career in the pet industry, coupled with his patriotism and reverence for the U.S. military and first responders, drew him to Project K-9 Hero. Matthew is passionate about supporting Project K-9 Hero’s Rehoming and Rehabilitation Facility for the lifesaving services this new campus will provide to the K-9 Heroes who have dedicated themselves completely to our freedom. “Project K-9 Hero has not only made an incredible impact on the K-9 Hero community but also on the human veteran, active-duty military and first responder communities,” said Matthew when asked to describe what makes this organization unique. “This unmatched impact would not be possible without the organization’s founder, Jason Johnson, who has dedicated his life to fulfilling Project K-9 Hero’s mission.”
Michael has spent 30 years in the pet industry, with the last 25 as owner and operator of The Pet Group, a manufacturer representative company that manages leading pet product manufacturers in the pet industry. Michael lives in Thompson’s Station, TN, with his wonderful wife of nearly 29 years, Leslie, and three dogs. He has three wonderful children, one of which is beginning college at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville (with his other two children attending the equally impressive Indiana University and University of Colorado Boulder).
Michael is passionate about supporting the U.S. military, law enforcement and animal welfare, making his support of Project K-9 Hero the perfect fit. Michael is excited to see the ways Project K-9 Hero can make an even greater impact with its Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility. Michael brings to Project K-9 Hero not only his passion for the cause and industry experience, but also years of service on the board of Petco Love and PIJAC.
Ken has held various leadership positions in the Daimler Truck world for more than 30 years and is currently Director – Financial Services for Gordon Truck Centers, Inc., located in Pacific, WA. While Ken has lived and worked in every region of the United States, he is originally from Starkville, MS, and a graduate of Mississippi State University. Ken describes the Project K-9 Hero mission as “pure and genuine.” Over the past three years, Ken has witnessed firsthand that every time you support a K-9 Hero, you support a veteran or first responder.
Rob recently retired after a 43-year career in banking technology (the last 33 years running his own firm). Rob lives with his wife of 39 years and their one-year-old Doberman, Rolf, in the New Hampshire mountains near his daughter, a nurse, and his son, a K-9 Police Officer. As a lifelong dog lover and owner and strong patriot, volunteering to support Project K-9 Hero is a perfect fit for Rob’s retirement.
As a seasoned strategist in the consumer, retail, and pet industries, David excels in product development, business strategies, and fostering financial prosperity. Based in MN, David cherishes time with his family and fondly remembers their beloved dog, Lacey, who they lost in August 2021. David is drawn to Project K-9 Hero due to his personal connection to pets, coupled with the project's noble mission to provide for and honor the retired K-9 Heroes who have selflessly served the nation.
Joe started his career in the pet industry in 1986 and has since held industry-shaping positions, such as VP of Operations in full-service pet care facilities, Director of Franchising for a franchise pet services offering, Director of Innovation for a successful pet grooming and pet dental products organization, Freelance Consultant, and, currently, President of Paragon Grooming Education and Training, which helps grooming businesses thrive by growing their own grooming staff. Joe is a family man with two successful adult sons, a wife of 28 years, and a Shih Tzu, Vinnie, who is the center of their universe. While Joe did not serve our country in the military, he does serve as a member of the Patriot Guard, providing motorcycle escorts for deceased veterans and active military to their final place of rest. Joe’s deep respect and appreciation for the military and all first responders, coupled with his pet industry career, makes Project K-9 Hero a perfect and easy cause to support.
Tony served in the U.S. Border Patrol for more than two decades, holding various positions from Border Patrol Agent to Chief of Operations at U.S. Border Patrol headquarters, even serving as a canine handler and canine instructor for the Del Rio Sector. This passion to train dogs led him to assist several state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to start and maintain their canine usage in operational settings. Project K-9 Hero brings Tony full circle after this dedicated career, allowing him to stay connected to the canine community and give back to those who served our country. Tony was born in Savannah, Georgia, and was raised in northern Maine. He has a PhD from Capella University, a MBA from Champlain College, and a BS in Criminal Justice from the University of Maine. He is married with two children and lives in Fredericksburg, VA. Tony is enthusiastic about the opportunity to support Project K-9 Hero’s Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility.
The Project K-9 Hero Capital Campaign Committee is thrilled to support the building of the Rehabilitation and Rehoming Facility.
About Project K-9 Hero: Project K-9 Hero is a nonprofit organization dedicated to covering the costs of medical care, food, and end of duty services to our nation’s retired Police K-9s and Military Working Dogs. Learn more about Project K-9 Hero atwww.projectk9hero.org
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