KNOXVILLE Tenn. (November 11, 2015) – Radio Systems® Corporation, an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle products through its PetSafe® Brand, Invisible Fence® Brand and SportDOG Brand®, has donated $20,000 to Smoky Mountain Service Dogs (SMSD), a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the physical and psychological quality of life for veterans with disabilities by providing custom-trained mobility assistance service dogs.
The grant funds will be used for SMSD’s Veterans’ Support Package, which will cover the full cost of providing a mobility assistance service dog to a regional, disabled veteran. In addition to subsidizing the complete two-year training of the service dog, which costs $12,500, Radio Systems’ donation will also cover all expenses associated with the acquisition of a puppy; vetting to include hip, eye and elbow x-rays; and food, boarding and veterinary care for two years.
Mike Kitchens, volunteer chair for SMSD, recognizes the impact that the donation will have on helping the organization achieve its mission.
“Smoky Mountain Service Dogs is the only organization headquartered in Tennessee that provides highly trained, public access tested and approved service dogs to disabled veterans at no cost,” Kitchens said. “To do so, we depend greatly on the volunteer and giving spirit of the community. On behalf of our approximately 60 volunteers, I’d like to express our most sincere appreciation for the overwhelming generosity of Radio Systems in helping us reach our goal of enhancing the quality of life for disabled veterans in our community.”
SMSD’s program is designed to help regional, disabled veterans by increasing their ability to have more independent and productive lifestyles. Each of their service dogs is custom trained to meet the needs of its recipient. In 2013, SMSD placed its first dog, Copper, with a young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a combat mission in Iraq. Since then, SMSD has placed a total of nine service dogs with deserving veterans, as well as a Facility Dog at Western Kentucky University that serves the students in university’s Military Affairs Department.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to support SMSD and help serve the men and women who served our country,” said Wendy Williams, Team Lead of the Philanthropy Committee for Radio Systems. “Not only do these service dogs help their veterans lead more productive, fulfilling lives, but also provide them with an unrivaled companionship that only a pet can give.”
Last year, Radio Systems Corporation awarded SMSD with a $5,000 grant, which helped cover the costs of utilizing shelter dogs in their program, including Blitz, who was successfully placed with US Army Veteran Kevin Jankoski of Louisville, Ky.
About Radio Systems® Corporation
Radio Systems® Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of pet products headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. but with remote offices in various places across the globe. The Radio Systems Corporation family of brands includes PetSafe® Brand, Invisible Fence® Brand and SportDOG Brand®. Since its founding in 1991, Radio Systems has grown into an international corporation selling in over 52 countries, and is a company driven by innovation and dedication to their customers and communities. The Radio Systems Corporation portfolio includes a wide array of electronic training and containment systems, waste management products, nutritional supplements, innovative treats, and much more.
About Smoky Mountain Service Dogs (SMSD)
Founded in 2011, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs (SMSD) is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to enhance the physical and psychological quality of life for veterans with disabilities by providing custom-trained mobility assistance service dogs. Chartered in the state of Tennessee, our goal is to effectively, compassionately and respectfully serve injured American military veterans with physical disabilities. In 2015, SMSD’s program was accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and is the only ADI accredited service dog organization within Tennessee and several surrounding states to serve our deserving veterans by providing them with service dogs at no charge. For more information, please visit www.smokymountainservicedogs.org.
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