Lt Col Cory Christopher/Ten: May 26, 2016


Program Helps Retired Military & Police Dogs


Lt. Col. Cory Christoffer, U.S. Air Force

Michael-McFarlandMichael McFarland, DVM, DABVP,

Group Director of Marketing, Companion Animal at Zoetis  

Memorial Day is just around the corner – an opportune time to shine a spotlight on our military heroes and the canine service members who are such an essential part of their teams.  Your viewers will be drawn in by one impactful story of the human-animal bond between an active officer and his retired Military Working Dog, and the unique healthcare donation program that provides financial support to help provide veterinary care for retired military and police dogs.

Thousands of dogs spend time deployed in active duty in the U.S. Military, as well as serving in Police K9 units across the country. Military and Police dogs are called on to risk their lives to protect our communities, personnel and our nation.  Once they retire, these very special dogs may experience chronic health problems, such as ligament and joint damage, or lingering pain from broken bones and torn muscles. With no guaranteed pension for medical services, the cost of care often rests solely with their owners/handlers. Recognizing this critical need, Zoetis created the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program™. The program supports 550 dogs and provides the owner of each dog with $300 annually on a debit card that can be applied toward any veterinary expenses, ranging from wellness visits and vaccines to prescription medications and treats.

The program is to lessen the financial burden to owners of retired military and police dogs and help these deserving dogs to remain healthy and active in their senior years. The program has two non-profit partners: the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve (military) and the National Police Dog Foundation.

And in case you’re wondering, Lady is that heroic English Labrador Retriever in the picture above, a retired Military Working Dog, and will be on-set with her human hero Lt. Col. Cory Christoffer.

More About Lt. Col. Cory Christoffer, U.S. Air Force

Lt. Col. Cory R. Christoffer is the Director of Safety, at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas. He earned his commission in 1998 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Texas.  Lt. Col. Christoffer is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flight hours in the F-15C/D, the T-38A/B/C and the T-37B.  He has held a number of leadership positions at the squadron, group and wing level, including two positions on a HHQ combat staff (A3/A5) in Kandahar and Kabul, Afghanistan.  Lt. Col. Christoffer has participated in multiple homeland security assignments and overseas military operations. He is married with two small children and his retired military dog, Lady.


More About Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Group Director of Marketing, Companion Animal at Zoetis  

A senior leader in the Companion Animal division of leading animal health company Zoetis, Dr. Mike McFarland is a champion for the human-animal bond and was a key advocate for the creation of the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program. Before joining Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis), he was an associate in a companion animal hospital for 10 years. In addition, he has 15 years of experience in emergency medicine, including five years as the Medical Director for one of the country’s first after-hours emergency practices in Dallas, Texas.

He serves on the board of directors for the American Humane Association and is Vice President of the board of trustees for the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative. Dr. McFarland received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science and his DVM from Texas A&M University and was honored as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2012.

More About Lady:

Born to sniff, this lovable English Labrador Retriever was deployed to Afghanistan when she was 18 months old. Lady served alongside her two-legged counterparts for four years at three different bases before retiring in October 2013. It was just before her retirement became official that she met Lt. Col. Christoffer, the service member who would give her a forever home with his family. Lady arrived in America just one month before her hero came home from his deployment. Almost three years later, Lady continues to enjoy her hard-earned retirement. She loves cuddling with her family, frolicking with the resident feline, and, almost more than anything else, chasing or chewing on a fresh tennis ball. After all, it’s how she was rewarded for sniffing out danger in a war zone!


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