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K-9 confections help wounded warriors

K-9 confections help wounded warriors

Katherine Lynch is an Army brat, daughter of retired Army Command Sergeant Major Robert White. He is her hero.

"I'm proud of my dad. I'm proud of his service. Without men like him, we wouldn't have a country like we do," said Lynch.

The Korean War veteran served for almost 36 years of active duty. Last year, Mr. White took an Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

As he deplaned, Lynch said she felt led to do something for modern soldiers.

"You've gotta give back. I mean, I have been so blessed in my life it's ridiculous," she said.

Lynch decided to combine serving her two loves, animals and the military, by baking and selling dog biscuits for K9s for Warriors.

She explained, "It rescues dogs and it saves veterans, two in one."

K9s for Warriors is a nonprofit that trains shelter and some donated dogs to be service animals. They place the dogs at no cost to the recipients.

"They're paired up with disabled veterans, which most of them are PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] sufferers," expanded Lynch.

She and a large crew of volunteers have made more than 16,000 dog treats so far this season.

Lynch smiled, "It's been fun, it's brought a lot of people together. I've had a lot of help. I've had four people that rolled it out, I've got a lot of bakers."

Lynch is the longtime office manager at Hillman Veterinary Clinic in Pensacola.

Her doctors, staff, and friends have all pitched in to help in various ways. Some with ingredients, others with time spent cutting out the dough, and many have donated freezer space for storage.

"And a client donated a mixer which has been really helpful," grinned Lynch.

Last year they raised more than $2,000. This season they are already on track to nearly triple that amount. Dr. Margaret Abeyta has baked many of the all-natural and healthy dog treats. The veterinarian said she loves the cause.

"My husband is military and his whole family is military. I love how military-friendly this town is," said Abeyta. Local pet owners are snapping up the snacks for their dogs and sometimes themselves. Lynch laughed, "He goes, 'You know, they are really not bad if you dunk 'em in coffee."

Lynch has spent decades perfecting her pup-approved recipes. She said they're top secret and on lockdown, that even her faithful helpers don't know the mixtures and measurements. She does share the fact that she's looking ahead, setting new doggie treat goals. Lynch affirmed, "Oh yeah, yeah. We're already planning for next year."

You can buy the treats at Hillman Vet Clinic on Palafox Street in Pensacola.

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