SHAWNEE, Kan. and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- K9 Advantix® II from Bayer and K9s For Warriors today launched a three-month campaign that will enable dog owners to support Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and shelter dogs. During the special promotion period March 5-May 31, 2015, when dog owners purchase K9 Advantix® II—the Official Flea & Tick Preventive of K9s For Warriors—Bayer will donate $1 per package—up to $150,000—to this nonprofit organization, which pairs specially trained shelter dogs with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), helping them transition back to civilian life at no cost to veterans.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, upwards of 20 percent of post-9/11 war veterans—500,000 men and women—suffer from PTSD2,3, with symptoms ranging from traumatic flashbacks and memory problems, to hopelessness, self-destructive behavior and thoughts of suicide.4 Veterans with TBI may experience such symptoms as an inability to concentrate, difficulty speaking, and emotional and behavioral changes.5
You buy, we'll donate In 2015—the second year of its partnership with K9s For Warriors—Bayer will: support the training and adoption of 10 dogs comprising the 2015 Bayer K9 Advantix® II Dog team; donate K9 Advantix® II—which provides broad-spectrum protection for dogs against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes too—for use by graduates of the K9s For Warriors program to help protect their service dogs; as well as share the stories of warrior-dog teams and other aspects of the partnership at www.MyK9MyHero.com.
"The partnership between Bayer and K9s For Warriors demonstrates and honors the unbreakable bond between these warriors and their service dogs," said Ian Spinks, president and general manager, Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health, North America. "K9 Advantix® II embodies K9s For Warriors' mission to ensure that these dogs are given the routine and proper care they need to support their warriors. That's why we're urging our fellow dog lovers across America to help us help these military heroes get their families, their jobs and ultimately their lives back. It's simple: you buy K9 Advantix® II, Bayer will donate."
Lilly is my "Battle Buddy" This year's first warrior-dog team video profile on www.MyK9MyHero.com features Joe Swoboda, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army (Ret.) and his service dog, Lilly. For nearly two decades, Swoboda served his country with distinction. But during three deployments to Iraq, he saw and did things that changed him forever. His wartime experiences caused him to develop PTSD, while the repeated detonation of bombs resulted in his traumatic brain injury.
"The trauma I experienced in Iraq day in and day out made it nearly impossible for me to return to normal life as a civilian," said Swoboda. "In desperation, I reached out to K9s For Warriors and it changed my life. Having Lilly as my service dog is like having a 'Battle Buddy' with me all the time. Along with the love and support of my family, I feel whole again."
Giving warriors and shelter dogs a new "leash" on life K9s For Warriors carefully selects dogs for their program from animal shelters across the country and professionally trains them at their facility. The dogs are then matched with warriors with whom they live, learn and bond together for three weeks with up to four other warrior-dog teams. Each warrior-dog team is a partnership, which means not only do dogs care for their warriors, but warriors must provide proper care for their dogs, including year-round flea and tick prevention.
K9s For Warriors is the only service dog organization for post-9/11 veterans that requires them to live and train on site with their service dog before going home. As a result, the program has a 96 percent success rate and, within six months of graduation, 92 percent of warrior graduates have reduced or eliminated their prescription medication. This year, K9s For Warriors launched "Stop 22," a campaign aimed at raising awareness of and action to end the epidemic of veteran suicides. It is estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.6
"We're losing 8,000 of America's military heroes each year due to suicide, which is heart-breaking and unacceptable," said Shari Duval, president, K9s For Warriors. "'Stop 22' and all we do at K9s For Warriors is aimed at empowering warriors to return to civilian life with dignity and independence. We love Bayer's passion for our mission, our warriors and our dogs, and we urge dog owners to buy the flea and tick preventive we use, K9 Advantix® II, during the special promotion period March 5-May 31, 2015."
Three ways you can support our nation's heroes
During the special promotion period March 5-May 31, 2015, buy K9 Advantix® II and Bayer will donate $1 per package—up to $150,000—to K9s For Warriors;
Visit www.MyK9MyHero.com and watch our warrior-dog team videos, learn about our K9 Advantix® II dog team, and stay up-to-date with the campaign;
Follow @Bayer4AnimalsUS and @K9sforwarriors on Twitter and tell us why your K9 is your hero, using the hashtag #BayerCares4K9s.
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. Do not use K9 Advantix® II on cats.
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.
Bayer, the Bayer Cross and K9 Advantix are registered trademarks of Bayer.
Forward-Looking Statements 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.