Grab your pets and get ready to walk for a good cause!

While we often give thanks to the human members of the military, the four-legged fighters are just as important. One local volunteer organization is working to collect supplies and donations to support military dogs and their handlers.

The Sgt. Denny Project is part of the Lt. Dennis Zilinski, II Memorial Fund. Zilinski, who grew up in Middletown, was killed in Iraq in 2005 while serving with the U.S. Army.

Lt. Dennis Zilinski, II
Lt. Dennis Zilinski, II was killed in Iraq in 2005 while serving with the U.S. Army. (Facebook.)

The fund created The Sgt. Denny Project to 'provide military working dogs and their handlers with hard-to-obtain items to support the training and welfare of these canine heroes.'

The project is named for a two-year-old German Shepherd named Sergeant Denny, currently stationed in Afghanistan and trained to detect explosives. His handler is from Monmouth County.

Sgt. Denny and his handler
Sgt. Denny with his handler. (Facebook)

The Sgt. Denny Dog Walk is coming up on May 11th at the Army National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, rain or shine. It's an opportunity to walk with your pets and show support for military dogs working abroad and helping out wounded warriors here at home.

Registration for the event begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10.

You can pre-register now for $25 or register the day of the event for $30.

There will be awards given for the most patriotic pet costume, biggest and smallest pet, and more.

Attendees are also asked to bring an item to donate to military dogs and their handlers. They need material items like:

  • Tennis balls (new or gently used), which are used as a training reward
  • One-ingredient treats (such as freeze dried liver)
  • Kong toys
  • Nylabone chews and toys
  • Unscented shampoo with oatmeal added to prevent dry skin
  • Collapsible water bowls
  • Leather leashes

Financial donations are also appreciated. Keep in mind all pets at the event must be leashed, have all of their shots, and be non-aggressive towards other pets and people.

For more information on the Sgt. Denny Dog Walk or the Lt. Dennis Ziliniski, II Memorial Fund, call 732-431-1713 or e-mail

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