America’s VetDogs® – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps® (www.VetDogs.org) is excited to host the Fourth Annual Annapolis 5K Run & Dog Walk (www.5K.vetdogs.org) 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. The event takes place at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8 a.m.
“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.”
Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis is a pet-friendly venue that is leash enforced, and the VetDogs 5K is a USATF certified course.
- Registration March 2 – April 14, 2014 – US Naval Academy students and alumni, veterans, and active service members are $35 and civilian registration is $40. All pre-registrants will receive a FREE pet first aid kit and event t-shirt.
- Walk-up registration the day of the event is $45.
NEW this year, supporters can now Virtually Participate. By “virtually participating”, supporters can 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. TheVirtual Participation option is available within the registration area of the link below.
The opening program begins at 8:45 a.m. and the timed race begins at 9 a.m.. The dog walk will follow at 9:05 a.m. An awards ceremony will take place shortly after the race ends at approximately 10 a.m.
For further information, please contact Community Fundraising/Events Manager Jaime McGrade at (631)930-9054 or at[email protected]