Local Veterinarian Rallies Support for ALL Police
Greenfield, WI, April 29, 2016 Recent headlines: “Police K9 Shot and Killed in the Line of Duty” March 31st 2016, Las Vegas. “Police K9 Fatally Stabbed” January 31st, 2016, Pennsylvania. “Police dog dies from injuries in shootout” January 10th, 2016, Ohio. The one common factor in all of these tragedies: The police k9 officers were not wearing bullet and stab resistant vests. One local veterinarian hopes to change that. Dr. Marla Lichtenberger continues her mission to vest police dogs through her foundation, MECA Foundation.
“At some point, someone needs to protect those who can’t always protect themselves. MECA Foundation is my way of doing that,” said Lichtenberger, owner of Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals.
Lichtenberger runs a 24 hour emergency animal hospital in Greenfield. After seeing numerous police k9 officers rushed in with life-threatening injuries, she knew she had to help. She launched the MECA Foundation in 2012 with a focus on vesting Wisconsin’s police k9s. In addition, the foundation offers early veterinary care, raises funds to help purchase and train police k9s for police departments, and supplies police departments with various other equipment, including police k9 vehicles.
“Seeing an injured animal is always sad. Knowing that this is an animal that risks its’ life to protect human officers and the community – and that if the k9 officer had a vest this could have been prevented – makes it heart-wrenching,” added Lichtenberger.
In effort to raise community awareness and involvement, along with funds to purchase more vests, Dr. Lichtenberger is preparing for the 5th annual MECA Vest A K9 Fest. The event, held July 23rd from 10am-3pm at Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals is the foundations largest fundraiser of the year. The public is invited to attend.
“Every year we stress the exciting activities of the day – k9 demonstrations, celebrity athlete signings, music, food, vendors, auctions and more,” said Lichtenberger. “While the day is light hearted and fun, this is a call to action. I want people to remember the goal of this – to bring our community together to rally to provide these brave animals with the tools they need to survive.” she added. “We wouldn’t send our human officers into the line of fire without extra protection – we shouldn’t do it with our police dogs either. Every life matters,”stated Dr. Lichtenberger.
About MECA Foundation
The MECA Foundation, founded by Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, DACVECC is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting every police dog in the state of Wisconsin with bullet resistant and stab proof vests. In addition, the MECA Foundation also assists Wisconsin police K-9 Units purchase police dogs by donating grants to Wisconsin K-9 Units.
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