By Melissa Kosowan, Ontario SPCA
Oct. 29, 2018 – As Canadians come together on Remembrance Day to honour those who have served their country, the wartime contributions of animals will also be recognized through a new commemorative pin unveiled by the Ontario SPCA.
The Animals in War pin is designed to be worn alongside your poppy to remember our veterans and the animals who bravely served by their side. This year’s commemorative pin will feature a dog. For each pin sold, $1 will be donated to the Royal Canadian Legion to support veterans.
Sgt. Reckless was a highly decorated US Marine Corps artillery horse in the Korean War. She is pictured beside a 75mm recoilless rifle, circa 1952 – 1955. Photo: Wikipedia
The Animals in War pin concept was launched in 2017, with the inaugural design featuring a horse. The Ontario SPCA proudly donated $2,500 to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 459 in Stouffville from the sales of last year’s pin.
“The Animals in War pin was created to serve as a reminder of the wartime contributions of animals, while also supporting our veterans,” says Daryl Vaillancourt, Senior Director, Humane Programs and Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA. “We invite Canadians to wear it with pride as they don their poppy this Remembrance Day.”
The Ontario SPCA will also be sending officers to Ottawa to place a wreath during the National Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11, marking the third time the Society has taken part.
The 2017 and 2018 pins recognize the respective contributions of horses and dogs that have served their country. Both 2017 and 2018 versions are now available for purchase on the Ontario SPCA website.
“We are honoured to be participating in this service to reflect on the veterans and animals who have served this country,” says Vaillancourt. “The Society will always remember their sacrifices and bravery.”
A variety of animals have served in wartime. Mules carried artillery, horses transported troops and hauled field guns, pigeons delivered crucial messages and dogs served as messengers, medical assistants, bomb detectors and search and rescue workers.
The 2017 pins commemorating the horse, and 2018 pins honouring canine contributions, are both currently available. The Animals in War pins are available online and at Ontario SPCA animal centres across the province. To purchase your pin, visit www.pawsandgive.ca/we-remember or go to www.ontariospca.ca to find an Ontario SPCA animal centre or participating humane society near you.
About the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society
Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's animal welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of close to 50 communities.
The 2018 Animals in War pin features a dog.
Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education & Animal Centre.
Main image: U.S. Air Force military working dog Jackson sits on an Army M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle before heading out on a mission in Kahn Bani Sahd, Iraq, February 13, 2007 to search for weapons caches and insurgents. Jackson is a Belgian Shepherd Malinois. Photo: Flickr/US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall