Petland Charities Funds Costs of Service Dog to Army Veteran

$18,000 Grant Awarded to Heartland Canines for Veterans

JOPLIN, Mo., March 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Petland Charities Executive Director Ed Sayers presented Heartland Canines for Veterans with an $18,000 grant. Funds will be used to support the entire cost of providing a service dog to a U.S. veteran living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Petland has supported the Heartland Canines’ “One of Us” program for the past five years. Grant monies are used to cover veterinary care, training, equipment, kenneling and administrative costs for the K9 team. 

“Petland Charities focuses on supporting community-based programs that strive to create special connections between pets and people,” said Sayers. “Through our partnership with Heartland Canines for Veterans’ ‘One of Us’ campaign, Petland Charities is making a difference in the lives American heroes; providing them with a K9 companion that will be trained with specialized capabilities to meet the veteran’s daily needs.”

The presentation was held in connection with a K9 Veterans event, hosted by Petland Joplin. In attendance was Army veteran Vern Marchington of the Joplin area, a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Joining Marchington was his new companion, Bella, a six-month old female German Shepherd who will assist Marchington with mobility challenges, and depression and anxiety. Bella is currently undergoing obedience training and will soon begin her training as a service dog.

“Heartland Canines for Veterans is eternally grateful for its continued and lasting relationship with a caring organization like Petland,” said Executive Director Jimmy Burgess. “Our sole mission is to provide service dogs to veterans who need them. We are fortunate to be partnered with an organization like Petland that also supports the wellbeing of our veterans.”

Other K9 and veteran pairs were also in attendance at Saturday’s event. Activities held during the in-store also included demonstrations and information about the intensive training required to produce a service dog with the specialized capabilities to assist veterans with PTSD.

Heartland Canines for Veterans is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization helping our nation’s warriors who need a canine partner, trained to help them thrive. Using established canine training strategies and pairing the right canine with the right veteran has been proven to generate positive and productive relationships between the K9 and its person.

For more than 55 years, Petland, Inc. has been giving back to the communities it serves. Petland Charities supports community-based programs that are intended to better the lives of pets and people. These include promoting the adoption of homeless pets, granting children’s pet-related wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation┬«, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital┬«, paying for the training of service dogs for disabled veterans, donating food to K9 police units, and providing grant funds to teachers to purchase pets and pet supplies for the classroom.

Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with quality, full-service retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, El Salvador and Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1967, Petland is headquartered in south central Ohio. To learn more about the work of Petland Charities, visit For information about Heartland Canines for Veterans, visit

Contact: Maria Smith
Director of Communications 
Petland, Inc.

SOURCE Petland