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Sep 06, 2019

Wiener Dog Race raises funds for veteran service dogs

Three dogs running in a race.
Dogs at the annual wiener dog races.
The winners of the annual wiener dog races.
The winners of the annual wiener dog races pose for a picture.
The first place winner of the annual wiener dog races.
A dog races in the annual wiener dog races.
The wiener dog races at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Several dogs run in the annual wiener dog races.
A dog runs in the annual wiener dog races.
Dogs run with momentum in the annual wiener dog races.
A dog runs toward the finish line.

Daniel Murray, of K9 Karma, spent eight years in the Marine Corp fighting for the United States.

“I was in Desert Storm,” said Murray. “I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but back in the day, you weren’t allowed to talk about it. We just sucked it up.”

After leaving the Marines, Murray spent about eight years in law enforcement, six of which he spent as a K9 officer.

“I’d have anxiety attacks during high-stress calls,” he explained. “I heard about emotional support animals before, but I didn’t realize that my police dog was calming me down during those calls.”

That is when Murray decided he wanted to help other veterans. So, he left his law enforcement career behind and worked with a dog trainer before branching off to create his organization, K9 Karma Service Dogs, in 2014.

K9 Karma Service Dogs is an organization that purchases and trains dogs for veterans and service members with PTSD and other disabilities.

“At a minimum, it costs $10,000 to train a service dog,” said Murray. “The community is very appreciative of what I do, but it is hard to get donations, and the veterans can’t afford it.”

So, Murray completed grant applications in hopes of raising more funds to help veterans.

“I applied for a grant at a casino in Bossier City about three years ago,” said Murray.

Before his career in law enforcement, Murrary spent about 4.5 years at Horseshoe Bossier City in what he called his “favorite job ever,” a security officer.

“Shelli Briery (sponsorship, advertising, and public relations manager at Horseshoe Bossier City and Harrah's Louisiana Downs) called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of the Wiener Dog Races,” said Murray.

Ever since that call, the proceeds from the annual Wiener Dog Races held at Harrah's Louisiana Downs in Bossier City have benefitted K9 Karma Service Dogs.

“Any amount helps us. We have a large military base here in town,I want to help every veteran in our area,” said Murray.

In total, $12,000 has been raised for K9 Karma Service Dogs. 

Murray said there is a saying in the military, “leave no man behind.”

“To me, if you have someone with PTSD and you’re not helping them you are leaving them behind. They deserve a second chance, and I want to give them that,” said Murray.