America’s VetDogs in partnership with Nassau County to host 5K run and dog walk to help fund the training and placement of service dogs to veterans with disabilities – virtual participation available

Smithtown, NY (June 29, 2016)—America’s VetDogs®, the Smithtown Long Island-based not-for-profit that provides specially trained guide and service dogs to disabled veterans is excited to host its Second Annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk (LIrace4vets.Vetdogs.org) in partnership with Nassau County and Suez Environnement.  The event takes place at Old Bethpage Village Restoration and The Museum of American Armor on Saturday, July 30, 2016.  Proceeds will benefit the assistance dog programs of America’s VetDogs.

“America’s VetDogs is excited to once again partner with Nassau County on this amazing event, which not only raises funds to meet our mission but also raises awareness and recognition from the community,” said Wells Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs. “It gives us the opportunity to reach out to disabled veterans and first responders and let them know about our assistance dog programs and the services we provide.  We have created these programs to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence, but most importantly, to give these men and women the tools they need to conquer the new challenges they face.”

Participants can take part in an officially measured 5K or a 2-mile walk at the historical Old Bethpage Village Restoration.  Participants of the dog walk must have their dogs leashed.

Event Registration
From now until July 27, registration for students, veterans, and active duty service members is $25, and civilian registration is $30. To register online, please visit LIrace4vets.VetDogs.org. Walk-up registration the day of the event is $35. All pre-registrants will receive a free event t-shirt. 

Virtual Participation
Virtual participation is available for non-local supporters.  By virtually participating, supporters can register for $25, fundraise in their own community, and take on a 5K or dog walk in their hometown.  A VetDogs t-shirt will be provided.  The Virtual Participation option is available in the registration area at LIrace4vets.VetDogs.org.

If posting on social media, please use #LIrace4vets. 

On-site registration the day of the race begins at 7:00 a.m.; the opening program featuring the guests of honor will be at 8:00 am, with the timed race (5K, and 2-mile walk with dogs) beginning at staggered times of 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., respectively.  The post-race awards ceremony will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m.

Event guest of honor will be Lt. Col. John O’Brien. O’Brien served 28 years in active and reserve service in the U.S. Army, originally enlisting in the Rhode Island Army National Guard while attending college.  He was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps and after graduation was commissioned. He was assigned to various units throughout his career, and served four tours of duty in Iraq and the surrounding Gulf region. He was wounded in Iraq and retired in 2009 as a lieutenant colonel.  O'Brien received his service dog Quinn from America's Vetdogs in 2013.  

For further information, please contact Jaime McGrade at 631-930-9054 or at Jaime@VetDogs.org.

About America’s VetDogs® 
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation. VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  

America’s VetDogs is only the second assistance dog school in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

To learn more, visit www.VetDogs.org