SHAWNEE, Kan. and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare's K9 Advantix® II and K9s For Warriors today announced a partnership that will enable pet owners to support veterans of post-9/11 conflicts who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). K9s For Warriors pairs specially-trained shelter dogs with these veterans, known as warriors, so that shelter dogs become service dogs and veterans become part of their own recovery.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, upwards of 20 percent of veterans - one in five - of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom) suffer from PTSD. Warriors with PTSD may: experience flashbacks or dreams in which they relive traumatic events; feel emotionally numb or a sense of hopelessness; have memory problems or difficulty maintaining emotional relationships; be easily startled or frightened; engage in self-destructive behavior; or feel overwhelming guilt or shame, among other symptoms. Veterans with traumatic brain injury may experience such symptoms as: an inability to concentrate; an alteration of the senses (hearing, vision, smell, taste and touch); difficulty speaking; and emotional and behavioral changes.
Bayer's K9 Advantix® II is supporting K9s For Warriors through two, key initiatives. The first initiative involves sponsoring the training and adoption of seven dogs that, when paired with their warriors, will comprise the K9 Advantix® II Dog Team. The first of the seven dogs is Remington Steele, a beautiful 18-month-old, male Weimaraner. Six other dogs will be posted on www.myK9myhero.com throughout the campaign to complete the K9 Advantix® II Dog Team. The second part of the campaign is a social media initiative that results in the donation of up to $10,000 worth of K9 Advantix® II to the program—which provides broad-spectrum protection for dogs against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes too—for use by these veterans to protect their service dogs.
Each time someone visits the campaign website (www.myK9myhero.com) and uses the share function to post the campaign on Facebook and/or Twitter, Bayer will donate a tube of K9 Advantix® II to K9s For Warriors. Throughout the campaign, Bayer's K9 Advantix® II and K9s For Warriors will profile warrior/dog team graduates in a series of videos on the campaign website. Follow @Bayer4AnimalsUS to check out the latest information on the campaign or tweet #BayerCares4K9s to be a part of the online campaign.
"At Bayer, we are passionate about caring for animals and recognize the unique bond, including the mutual desire to protect each other, that is shared between a dog and its owner," said Ian Spinks, president and general manager, Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health, North America. "Bayer and our K9 Advantix® II brand team are proud to be partnering with K9s For Warriors and donating this important product. Our goal in this partnership is to help protect these special dogs from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes too."
Rocco, more than a pet
As part of this partnership, Bayer's K9 Advantix® II and K9s For Warriors will share the stories of several veterans and their service dogs, beginning with U.S. Navy Reserve Captain Jack Capra, a highly-decorated officer serving in the Navy since 1991. A lawyer currently working on his second doctoral degree, Capra's multiple deployments range from several tours in Iraq, to Africa and a U.S. military detention center. Capra sustained multiple injuries in March 2004, when his vehicle was struck in Basra, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device (IED). Still, he continued serving, but when he returned to civilian life in 2011, another battle began: adjusting to normal, everyday life outside of war.
"I'd seen and experienced so much over the course of 21 years in various theaters of war, but trying to fit back into civilian life proved to be one of my toughest battles," said Capra. "K9s For Warriors became part of my life at the right time. From the moment I saw Rocco, I knew I was back. He's more than a pet, he's my service dog who's got my back, so I have his."
Learn more about Capra and Rocco's story at www.myK9myhero.com.
"We at K9s For Warriors are honored to have started an organization that impacts the lives of veterans in such a life-changing way," said Shari Duval, president, K9s For Warriors. "We are not only focused on bettering the lives of our country's veterans, but also on protecting and caring for dogs. Our dogs—including the seven who will comprise the K9 Advantix® II Dog Team—provide tremendous service to our returning heroes who struggle with PTSD or TBI. In turn, these warriors are charged with providing proper care to their dogs, which includes monthly flea and tick protection."
About K9 Advantix® II
K9 Advantix® II offers broad-spectrum protection against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes too. For more information on K9 Advantix® II, visit www.k9advantixii.com. K9 Advantix® II is for use on dogs only.
About Bayer HealthCare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 18.9 billion (2013), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 56,000 employees (Dec. 31, 2013) and is represented in more than 100 countries. More information at www.healthcare.bayer.com.
About K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of injuries they have received during military service post-9/11. The canines used in the program are carefully evaluated, former rescue/shelter dogs or owner surrenders. Give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes. Find more information at www.k9sforwarriors.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD: National Center for PTSD, How common is PTSD?, http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp. Accessed 2/20/14.
 Mayo Clinic, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Symptoms, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/basics/symptoms/CON-20022540. Accessed 2/20/14.
 U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, Polytrauma/TBI System of Care, Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury, http://www.polytrauma.va.gov/understanding-tbi/definition-and-background.asp. Accessed 2/20/14.
Video - http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/K9_Jack_High_Res_42814.mp4
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140512/86647
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140512/86646
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140512/86645
SOURCE Bayer HealthCare