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The U.S. WAR DOGS Association is recognized by the IRS as both a non-profit and Veterans Group with a 501(c)19 status. Its Southern chapter is registered with the State of Florida. Donations both in-kind and monetary are tax deductible, and will be acknowledged to retain by the donor for income tax purposes. Donations are used to directly benefit the MWDs and K-9s that serve to keep Americans safe, secure and free.

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Florida Highway Patrol K-9 Trooper Abbey #619

LODD July ’92 – Security Protection for First Lady of

U.S. Security Detail – American Hero

Specialty: Drug Intervention, Track, Scent, Apprehension Homeland Security Detail

Faithful Friend and K-9 Partner to Trooper Richard Chapman

Achievements: 797 Felony Arrests, 182 misdemeanor Arrests, $47 million worth of drugs seized and $725,000 in cash seized in partnership with Trooper Richard K. ‘Spanky’ Chapman, recipient of FHP Purple Heart and numerous awards – both were targeted and poisoned by drug dealers/runners on a narcotic case November 18, 1988. Both suffered cancer as a result. Chapman received two transplants, liver and kidney, and Abbey suffered a rare form of cancer attributed to the planted toxic substance.  

Mr. Chapman authored a book telling their story, “Spankys Story”.

‘A Bond Never Broken’


When we pause to remember our Heroes, let us also remember our Heroes with Paws. They are the silent heroes that keep us safe, secure and free. They are the dogs of war, military working dogs on our bases, dogs that fight crime; they are Search and Rescue, and Recovery dogs that aid us in disasters and Arson dogs that detect causes of fire and Corrections dogs, Wildlife dogs, Customs and other Homeland Security protection dogs and Medical Service dogs that assist our veterans with mobility challenges and PTS.

The national LODD (Line of Duty Death) count is 2,346. (Lost to date 8.31.15)

Flag & Dog

Tribute, in Honor and in Memorial

THERE is no greater TRUST than the one created by the bond between K-9 law-enforcement working dogs and their Deputy, Trooper, or Police Handler. There is no greater LOYALTY than these dogs who would lay down their lives for their partners and for you and me if called on to do so in the line of duty; there is no greater COMFORT and ASSURANCE in public trust and safety to know that is truth and can always be counted on. There is no greater cheetah-like SPEED, to OBEDIENCE than by these dogs who respond to their partner’s commands to words that need only be said once. There is no better way to HONOR these dogs than to acknowledge, appreciate and respect them and their partners, both together in service for our safety, and to remember those partners lost together and forever to us and their families.

Tribute Dog Pic

There is no better way to PAY them back than to treat all dogs a little kinder – a little gentler and with more compassion: those who serve our military in war, guard our beaches, serve our customs officers at our borders, our firefighters who save lives and property, our agriculture agencies who safeguard our food, our rescue dogs who aid in disaster or in loss of children or elderly, our assistance dogs who see and hear for us, predict our diseases and alert our seizures giving us freedom to work, drive and swim and our service dogs who give our veterans in need their lives back; those who are abused, exploited and cruelly treated for profit or criminal intent, those who provide therapy to heal us faster, comfort our needs, teach us to read and warn us of danger, and those who listen to our stories when we are sad and share our joy when we laugh; who give us friendship and companionship like no other; and those in all animal shelters who were born unwanted, were neglected, abandoned and wait for a new and forever home.

There is no greater nose to scent, eyes to sight, heart to give and no braver or more courageous spirit to work and serve. Of these K-9 Working Dogs also can be attributed the highest form of sacrifice by man “greater love hath no man than to give up his life for another. For them Heaven’s reward is a special section across the Rainbow Bridge reserved only for them where they play all day in meadows where angels sing; and never again hear the sound of another bullet. They are the very special select ones, elite and best of their breed; our Guardians of the Night and the Day, whose life as a hero dog on earth represents the highest in VALOR. May they and their partners always be blessed and watched over by our Creator who you will find always in their name only backwards.

By Barbara Snow

Tribute to Law Enforcement K-9 Working Dogs



K-9 Maxo  – USA Secret Service Uniformed Division – American Hero

LODD 1.26.13 – not since 1976

Rest and Play in Peace

Unless one is in the top level of elite law enforcement, they may only know little about a Secret Service dog and pretty much nothing at all if one is not military or law enforcement. We know why that is justified; but when the public eye doesn’t see, often the heart doesn’t grieve and K-9 Maxo deserves to have the public know how much he mattered now and just how ELITE and ‘best of breed’ he had to be to get the job of guarding our USA Vice President. Rest and Play in Peace, K-9 Maxo – Angels will sing for you now, and you’ll hear no more bombs or bullets. I would like to know more about you even if it just was who cried at your service. You lived and died a life with and only meant for the fearless and strongest and finest of American heroes, and you were one of them; and you wore the Badge of the Very Elite. You will be missed by those who know how to do and give Honor and Memory the best and for that you will be forever immortal.

Submitted and Posted as Reflections on Officer Down Memorial Page . . . By Barbara Snow

Welcoming You Home

By: ©2010 Roger J. Robicheau

We gratefully thank you for serving our country with such bravery

How proudly you marched with the “Old Glory” we all revere

Your call to duty showed your love for America and your people

We feel deep sorrow for the many who did not march home with you

Please accept our heartfelt love which you so earned and deserve

We feel very sorry for the wrongs our country put you through

For how you were treated upon returning home from war in Vietnam

For the way many in the country you loved hurtfully let you down

Today we feel great pride, honor and love in welcoming you home

And we mourn for the many whose names are engraved on The Wall.

We owe so much to you, to all who died and to those still missing in action.

To our wounded we thank you for all you gave for your country

We also welcome home brave K9 handlers who served in the war

Together with your faithful war dogs you saved thousands of lives

The bond between you and your K9 warrior was amazing

We are sorry that so many of your K9 partners could not come home

God Bless each warrior with us today who served in The Vietnam War.

God Bless each still dealing with their severe wounds from the war.

God Bless the family members and friends of all who went to war.

God Bless America, this land we truly love.

When I think of a True HERO, I think of the best

Those that wear the bullet proof vest

They endure smoke, danger, fire and flame

They have police, fire or sheriff in their title and name

They are our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine

And not the athletes on our favorite sport team

Those we can admire for their achievements and skill

But their job doesn’t require them to die or to kill

There’s entertainment and magic in how they move a ball

But they don’t save our lives or answer our emergency call

True heroes care for others before their own need

They work at high risk without personal greed

We don’t pay them millions; when it’s what they deserve

When we count all their sacrifices and many ways they serve

They protect our flag, borders and prisons and our wildlife too

Our families and pets are safer because of what they do

And many have partners who serve them not by hand but by paw

A double hero status protecting our freedom and law

They deserve so much more, in respect and in pay

And lifetime veterinary benefits for their partners who

“Faithfully, Lead the Way”

Their bond never broken; bad guys and enemies beware

We have more peace and sleep better because they are there

Let’s give them honor and appreciation and value what they do

Reserve the pedestal for them – our Heroes so true.

True Heroes

By: Barbara Snow

K-9 Honey MSD – Handler Michael Gaither Vietnam Veteran

Honey, the Wonder Dog – MSDIn my years with the Southern Chapter (U.S. WAR DOGS Assn), I have the privilege and joy of working with Honey, a Medical Service Dog, observing just how amazing and multi-tasking she is in the performance of her duties. I have observed many of the duties she performs in an exemplary fashion and also her ability to think for herself in the area of handler protection.  Not only does she serve her handler/companion/friend; she also represents her ‘Profession” in a stellar manner. No one can be unhappy in her presence as she lights up every room she enters.  She enriches the daily life of her handler, Veteran Michael Gaither, who deals with both Mobility Issues and Post Traumatic Stress from the Vietnam War.  Her duties include bringing him the things he needs to saving his life and getting him the help should Michael fall from his wheelchair. Honey also contributes to the community in Veterans’ events, Educational programs in the Kids for K-9 Program in area schools and recently standing in my place at an event for the War Dogs that otherwise I would have had to cancel when my sister passed away recently in May.  

Passing Honey’s ‘sniff test’ and having her approval and trust around her handler has brought me a compliment I will always treasure.  Honey truly knows the importance of her work and good citizenship in her taking part in our community events.  She has met our FL Governor Scott who speaks well of her, our Levy County Commission who dedicated a month and a day in her Honor in Appreciation for the work she continues to do for patriotic and educational events. She is recognized from people she meets in the everyday ‘out and about’ lives with Michael and from newspaper articles written about her.  She has deserved and earned the prestigious Bronze award by the AKC several times.  I fondly remember a birthday party for Michael I had the pleasure of attending where I got to observe Honey ‘just being a dog’ when she greeted all the others who came and then she and I played Frisbee in her yard for a few moments when her vest was off.

Honey is truly a number one ‘wonder dog’ and the personification of everything good in a Medical Service Dog whether she is interpreting Michael’s dreams, calling 911, welcoming veterans at community events, teaching children about the merits and value of these dogs and their God given abilities beyond our human limitations, or simply bringing Michael his socks.  She performs her tasks with Love, Honor and Duty.  Hers is a life that truly matters, and I am blessed to know her and have her in my life.  I truly believe Honey loves her ‘job’ as well as her handler and family.

Whereas Medical Service Dogs have provided invaluable services to our veterans with mobility issues, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries all throughout America’s wars; and

Whereas Honey is a Medical Service Dog trained to provide life assistance to Michael Gaither, Vietnam Veteran,  who resides in Levy County, enabling him to live a happier, healthier, safer and better life; and

Whereas Honey has exceeded her performance of these duties, often thinking for herself to anticipate Michael Gaither’s needs; and

Whereas Honey has earned three Bronze medals from the American Kennel Club for her steadfast loyalty and dedication to both Mr. and Mrs. Gaither; and

Whereas Honey has included life-saving actions on several occasions, in protection of Michael Gaither in a meritorious manner; and

Whereas Honey has participated in the Kids for K-9s programs educating Levy County school children about the services of America’s Hero dogs who keep us safe secure and free with their service to our military both in our homeland on bases and deployed to war zones as MWDs, our law enforcement agencies K-9s, local, state and federal, our Search, Rescue and Recovery dogs and Medical Service dogs who serve our veterans; and

Whereas Honey has been honored previously by both the Levy County BOCC and Florida’s Governor Scott; and

Whereas Honey is recognized, well known and loved by our citizens and welcomed wherever she accompanies the Gaithers; and  

Whereas Honey is celebrating her fifth (5th) birthday;

Be it now resolved that the Levy County BOCC congratulates Honey for her stellar performances to her Handler Michael Gaither, who both share a bond that only death can break; and for her many contributions to her profession. We wish Honey a very happy fifth birthday and many more years of service and mutual companionship with her DogMom and DogDad family; and we call on Levy County citizens to become more aware of our Hero dogs and treat all dogs and pets more kindly by meeting all their medical, physical and behavioral needs as a special way to join us to Congratulate and Honor Honey for the Wonder Dog she truly is.