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2021 Spirit of Service Honorees

by Danni Hammontree | Apr 16, 2021

Since 2016, the Animal Health industry has recognized nine not-for-profit organizations that support the human-animal bond with over $100,000 in monetary donations through the Animal Health Corridor’s Spirit of Service program. This year, the Animal Health Corridor Board has selected Going To The Dogs and Warriors’ Best Friend to be the 2021 Spirit of Service award recipients.

The Spirit of Service program is funded by registration proceeds from the Animalytix sponsored Market Insight Seminar, which is held twice a year. The 2021 Market Insight Seminars are being held virtually. The first Seminar of 2021, held on February 16th, raised a record-breaking $24,000. The second Seminar will be held virtually on August 10th from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. CST. Animalytix will unveil newly released industry data and will take questions in real-time.

You can stay up to date on this program and learn more about previous honorees here.

To nominate an organization to be considered as a Spirit of Service honoree, please submit a nomination form.

Going To The Dogs 


The mission of Going To The Dogs is to successfully secure the safety and improve the well-being of law enforcement K9s while on active duty and beyond.


Going To The Dogs is a non-profit organization whose main focus is to purchase and provide ballistic vests for K9s in both Kansas and Missouri.  Since becoming established in 2015, they have made a significant impact to police and sheriffs’ departments as well as the Missouri Highway Patrol, by providing 60 ballistic vests for K9s that would not have otherwise had this line of protection.

In addition to ballistic vests, Going To The Dogs has purchased K9s for smaller communities who cannot afford the $10,000-$12,000 expense of a trained K9.  Going To The Dogs has made great strides in these two areas but there are still unprotected K9s in need of ballistic vests and communities that could better protect their citizens with a four-legged officer. 


Going To The Dogs works directly with law enforcement agencies, specifically the K9 handlers, to obtain the correct measurements of the dog so that a custom-made vest can be provided.

The cost of each vest is $1,000.  With limited budgets, many departments do not have the means to purchase vests, and oftentimes, deploy their K9s into the front line without any source of protection.  This is where Going To The Dogs can assist.  Purchasing the vests is extremely important to this organization and to the departments in which they support. 

Going To The Dogs is based in Leawood, Kansas and all proceeds raised goes to the organization to provide protection for the K9s. 

Warriors’ Best Friend 

logo-final-WBF_2020[4]Located in Liberty, Missouri, Warriors’ Best Friend (WBF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to rescuing homeless dogs across the Kansas City area and training them to provide service to several vulnerable populations.

Operation Homestead Program 

For nearly a decade, WBF has provided highly trained service dogs at no cost to military installations and combat veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. WBF’s service dogs allow these veterans to accomplish personal goals like continuing education, employment and improving socialization skills with co-workers, friends and family.

Operation Schoolhouse Program

In 2018, WBF launched Operation Schoolhouse, a program expansion focused on providing facility dogs to service special needs populations in K-12 schools.  Placing a trained facility dog in a school classroom or counseling department offers several benefits for children and staff.

For example, mental health research has found that the human-animal bond can help with the following:

  • decrease feelings of isolation, anxiety, and agitation;

  • increase socialization and encourage communication and focus.

Our facility dogs master 13 commands, several of the commands specifically help students, faculty, and even parents who are experiencing anxiety or distress.

Our canines provide:

  • In classroom positive interactions

  • Comfort strategies for anxiety & emotional distress: The COMFORT command directs the canine to apply deep pressure therapy to a person experiencing anxiety or distress.

  • Trauma sensitive interactions and grief support

  • Socialization and language development for students on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities

  • Culture building impact




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