K9’s that have long protected and served the country and community will be honored at an upcoming event.

K9 Veterans Day will be observed Saturday, April 28th at the Michigan War Dog Memorial and Cemetery on Milford Road in Lyon Township. The event begins at noon and will feature keynote speakers, including long-time Law Enforcement K9 Handler Terry Foley, and Vietnam Scout Dog Handlers John Burnam with the US Army and Ron Aiello with the United States Marine Corps. Phil Weitlauf, President of the Michigan War Dog Memorial (MWDM), says each speaker will share stories of the K9’s they served with in their respective fields.

This is the state’s 5th year honoring veteran K9’s, who Weitlauf says serve in many roles. K9's that will be recognized include those that have served in the military, search and rescue, law enforcement, or as a service, therapy or companion animal. Weitlauf says it’s important to educate the public about K9’s history of service to show the dogs proper respect.

K9 Veterans Day is actually March 13th, but the MWDM holds the event in late April because of the unpredictability of Michigan weather. March 13th was established as K9 Veterans Day because on that day in1942, the military was given the order to secure dogs for defense.

After the memorial ceremony, Weitlauf says community members are invited to the organization’s event at the South Lyon Hotel restaurant for some “dog talk”. More information can be found at the link below. (DK)