Penn Vet Working Dog Center Presentation At WKC

Last spring, people went crazy for Cairo. The Navy SEAL dog played an integral role in the special operations team to find Osama Bin Laden, and was an instant celebrity in mainstream media after the May 1, 2011 mission. Talk about how well Cairo was trained, speculation on his breed, the gear he wore while parachuting into the compound and the quest for more details about his role that day, ran rampant.

Historically, working dogs have served as messenger dogs during war time; as helpmates to farmers in the fields; as a helping hand to people with disabilities; and as patrol dogs protecting the ports and entryways to our nation. In addition, new research is illustrating a dog's ability to identify airborne pathogens (such as Salmonella) and disease, including cancer.

Understanding the need for these important canine workers, Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD is leading the charge to open the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in the fall of 2012. Dr. Otto will be presenting a lecture on her plans at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 13 and 14 at 4 p.m. each day in the Legends Room at Madison Square Garden.

The Working Dog Center will provide an opportunity for the US to begin breeding and raising these important dogs domestically in the middle of one of the finest research institutions in the country. By starting with Labrador puppies late this summer and by placing them in foster homes where they'll go at night for family socialization, Otto plans to train the pups during the day at the Center. Eventually, dogs will be placed with organizations that fit their strengths. Some will become military dogs, some will go on to work with the blind, others may serve in port cities...and some will be better suited as pets.

Join us in the Legends Room at 4 p.m. either day or visit www.PennVetWDC.org to learn more. For more information, contact Kelly Stratton at 215-898-1475 or 610-554-7930 or email skell@vet.upenn.edu.

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