Virginia War Memorial to recognize K-9 Veterans Day

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia will commemorate K-9 Veterans Day on Saturday, March 11 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

The 4th annual celebration is a free, family-friendly event that honors the contributions of heroic dogs who serve side-by-side with their human companions on the battlefield, assisting police and law enforcement agencies, performing search and rescue missions, and providing companionship to military and civilian hospital patients.

Virginia Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler, R-Hanover County and Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle will kick off the celebration with a special patriotic ceremony in the Heilman Amphitheater on the Memorial grounds.

After the ceremony the following military and law enforcement units will perform demonstrations on-site:

  • Fort Lee K-9 Military Working Dogs
  • Marine Base Quantico Military Working Dogs
  • Richmond Police Department K-9 Unit
  • Virginia Capitol Police K-9’s
  • Hanover Hounds Search and Rescue Team K-9’s
  • VCU Medical Center Dogs on Call Therapy Dogs

In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly joined the legislatures of 13 other states in passing a resolution to annually designate March 13 as K-9 Veterans Day. On that day in 1942, U.S. Secretary of War Robert Patterson authorized the U.S. Army Quartermaster General to include dogs in the military effort to win World War II.

“The Virginia War Memorial is proud to co-host Virginia’s K-9 Veterans Day Celebration for the fourth consecutive year with the members of the Hanover Hounds Search and Rescue K-9s, Mountcastle said. “The Memorial is a fitting venue to honor the service and sacrifice of our military, law enforcement, and rescue dogs whether they serve on the battlefield or in our communities.”

The ceremony is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. No personal pets are allowed on Memorial grounds during this event. For more information, click here.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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