K9s for Warriors has six new dogs to train that will help save the lives of returning soldiers, thanks to the family of a local military member killed in action.

The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund is helping six dogs get trained through K-9s for Warriors. The service dogs will then be paired with disabled American veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Brain Traumatic Injury (BTI) to help combat veteran suicide.

The donation was made in honor of Army Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II, a 23-year old Middletown resident and graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, who was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005.

Quentin Walsh from the Zilinski Memorial Fund says,

“We must support our brave men and women when they return home, especially now that their normal daily routines have been disrupted by the pandemic. This program saves the lives of both shelter dogs and our disabled American veterans.”

Quentin and his wife Ellen have also personally sponsored two service dogs in the past through the Memorial Fund. Quentin says,

“The service dogs we sponsored, Sigma and Snickers, will help us end veteran suicide… one veteran at a time."

Dennis Zelinski's mom Marion says,

"We honor Dennis by saving the lives of veterans who are struggling. Especially now with COVID-19 restrictions, depression, anxiety, and fear intensify for veterans with PTSD making the need for service dogs even more critical. We want our American veterans to know we are here to help.”

According to K9s For Warriors, service dogs are trained at the rate of $25,000 per dog. And so far the Zelinksi Fund has sponsored more than 100 service dogs.

(Zilinski Memorial Fund Photo

Anyone struggling with PTSD or any mental health issues is urged to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans interested in a service dog are encouraged to email The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund at runwithdennis@yahoo.com.

K9s For Warriors’ mission is to end veteran suicide. They are our nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma. The majority of their Service Dogs come from high-kill shelters, which means that with each warrior-K9 pairing, two lives are saved. For more info on K9s For Warriors CLICK HERE.

For more info on the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund CLICK HERE.

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