Two local organizations are teaming up to provide some special gear for a group of furry heroes set to head overseas with the 1st Battalion, 327 Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne division.
Servicemen and women from that unit will visit San Mateo for the "Operation Eagle" parade and celebration today to commemorate the first welcome-home parade for returning Vietnam War soldiers in San Mateo , organizers said.
Rick and Paulette Nava, owners of the San Mateo branch of pet waste removal business Doody Calls, have raised funds in the community to donate K-9 trauma kits to the army unit Sunday, said Louise Tully of the Police and Working K-9 Foundation.
Tully said the business owenrs decided to raise money to donate the kits when they heard the 101st Airborne Division would be adding 23 new military dogs for future overseas deployments.
The Woodside-based Police and Working K-9 Foundation is furnishing the custom care kits in exchange for donations collected by Doody Calls.
Attendees at Sunday's celebration may still donate toward the kits, which contain specialized items not found in standard first aid kits, including K-9 oxygen masks, splinting and bandaging materials designed for dogs and a type of gauze called Vet Clot.
"They have everything you could think of to give emergency care and stabilize a K-9 until they can get more advanced emergency care," Tully said.
"That's really the critical element, is being able to stabilize the dog until you get more advanced care."
Over the past three-plus years, Working K-9 Foundation has provided nearly 150 "Cover Your K-9 Kits" to law enforcement agencies throughout Northern California, she said.
Sundays's event will be the first time the foundation has prepared trauma kits for military working K-9s.
Donations toward the kits will be accepted at the Doody Calls booth during the Operation Eagle parade and barbecue at Central Park in San Mateo.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. at San Mateo's Downtown Transit Center located at 385 Transit Ave and proceed south down Ellsworth Avenue before ending in Central Park.
-- Bay City News