Military Working Dog Memorial

616Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) was proud to announce the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the first Military Working Dog (MWD) memorial in San Diego County and the only private memorial West of the Mississippi. There are only 8 similar memorials around the country. The even took place on Saturday, April 16th from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s dog park known as Cricket’s Corner, located behind the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas.

Jim Silveira, Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s President, and MWD adopter Madeleine Pickens, conceived the idea after taking a tour of Arlington Cemetery with other military working dogs and their human handlers.

“That trip was heartfelt and increased my awareness of the need to celebrate the lives of these special animals,” said Silveira. “The San Diego community has such strong ties to our armed forces and these magnificent animals sacrifice just as their human counterparts do. They should be honored for their dedication and commitment to our freedom and San Diegans should have a place to be able to show that appreciation.”

As a result of positive community feedback the RCHS broke ground on the memorial in December with 80% of the funds raised to complete the $25,000 project designed by HonorLife. The memorial features a life-size statue of a MWD modeled after T. Boone and Madeleine Picken’s adopted dog Chyba, an 11 yearold German Shepherd that was retired from the 95th MP Battalion in Stuttgart, Germany. MWD Chyba C260 was a Patrol-Narcotics Detector Dog and also deployed to Iraq for 6 months in August of 2004. The memorial also includes the crests of each military branch. The public can purchase engraved bricks in the> memorial at a cost of $150 to help support the memorial’s maintenance.

WDM Dogs are noted as serving in warfare as early as 100 BC. Today Military Working Dogs (MWDs) are an integral part of our nation’s armed services and these dedicated and highly trained companions save an average of 150 lives during their careers. Many of these wonderful dogs need homes after their retirement.The memorial will not only honor the four-legged unsung heroes that work to protect and save our lives, but also help to educate the public on the need to adopt these animals.

More information on adopting a MWD can be found at Information on RCHS’s other military programs, such as Pets for Patriots, which facilitates adult dog and cat adoption by members of the U.S. military, and provides access to reduced cost veterinary care for the life of the adopted pet, can be found at here.