America’s VetDogs is excited to host the Fourth Annual Annapolis 5K Run & Dog Walk to benefit America’s VetDogs, a non-profit organization that provides guide and service dogs, free of charge, to disabled veterans of all eras at no cost to them. Although the event takes place at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8 a.m., those interested in supporting the organization and not in the Maryland area can “virtually” participate.
Virtual participation allows supporters to register for $25, fundraise in their own community and take on a 5K run or walk in their hometown. An event t-shirt will be provided. The Virtual Participation option is available within the registration area of www.5K.VetDogs.org
“America’s VetDogs recognizes the dedication and personal sacrifices made by our military personnel and others that serve our county,” says Wells Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs. “As the demand for service dogs has increased, many disabled veterans are eager to receive a dog of their own for their chance to be self-reliant once again. This race only furthers our cause to meet this demand.”
Retired Army Staff Sergeant Brian Pearce, a Purple Heart recipient, and his America’s VetDogs guide dog Gunner will be the guest of honor at this year’s event. Brian suffered a traumatic brain injury and substantial vision loss while he was deployed in Iraq in 2006. He spent two months in a coma after shrapnel from a roadside bomb shot through his head. In the years that followed, he has also dealt with short-term memory loss and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other problems. Brian received his guide dog, a black Labrador, from the VetDogs organization in 2013.
Pearce’s dog Gunner has been trained to do both guide dog work and some service dog tasks. As a guide, the dog will enable him to follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles, and stop at curbs. The dog has also been trained to perform nightmare interruption. Brian says Gunner “has made a huge difference for me. My posture is better, my attitude is better and I’m able to deal with things much better than a year ago. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”
To register online please visit www.5K.VetDogs.org. If posting on Twitter or Facebook, please use #VetDogs5K.