On National K9 Veterans Day we honor and remember our faithful military and service dogs. These hero dogs are trained in a number of areas, including security and explosive detection, and work to help sustain the protection, safety and freedom of our citizens here and abroad.
Here in Oakland County, the Michigan War Dog Memorial in Lyon Township provides a peaceful outdoor setting where you can gather to remember and honor fallen canine heroes. What was once a humble, overgrown, and all-but forgotten pet cemetery has been transformed into a beautiful and somber space.
Phil Weitlauf, president and founder of the Michigan War Dog Memorial, discovered the pet cemetery back in 2010. He, and his non-profit team, have since cleared out the overgrowth and continued their work to give four-legged veterans a proper military burial. You can join them on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at noon for a K9 Veterans Day Event with special keynote speakers at 25805 Milford Road, South Lyon, MI.
Learn more about the Michigan War Dog Memorial in our video from their 2016 K9 Veterans Day event.
In additional to holding a special significance for our war dog heroes, the memorial also honors law enforcement K9s. A granite monument, dedicated last fall, lists all of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office K9s that have passed since the inception of the unit.
Every dog laid to rest at the Michigan War Dog Memorial receives a proper military service, including a full color guard, a bag piper and a procession escorted by eight German Shepard dogs. At the close of each service, the dogs in attendance let out a howl as a final tribute to their fallen friend.
According to Weitlauf, 28,000 human lives were saved by war dogs in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.
“That’s a lot of men and women that would not have come home, if it weren’t for these dogs,” he said. “These military dogs are veterans just like me.”
For more information about the Michigan War Dog Memorial, to find future events, or to become involved in the project, visit their website and follow along with them on Facebook. Remember to join them on April 28th, 2018 for their K9 Veterans Day Event.