From Stray to Statesman: Rocky, the Resilient Rescue Dog, Runs for President

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

3 min read

Rocky, a once-stray mixed-breed rescue dog, now a Service Dog in training at K9s For Warriors, is throwing his paws into the 2024 race to the White House.

This is a true underdog story!

Rocky’s journey from stray to presidential candidate began in January of this year. Bradford County Animal Services in Florida found him wandering the streets.

While he had a temporary home at the shelter, Rocky was at risk of being put down. That’s the unfortunate reality many shelter dogs across the country face.

Rocky was originally called Slider because he didn’t quite know how to walk on a leash. He would instead slide across the floor.

Despite his challenging start, Rocky quickly learned to trust and won the hearts of everyone with his sweet and loving nature. His positive demeanor shined through, leading SAFE Animal Shelter in Middleburg, Florida to take him in on February 23, saving him from potential euthanasia.

That same day, K9s For Warriors knew he needed a second chance and brought him to train for his new purpose: saving a Veteran’s life.

While at K9s, it was apparent Rocky was destined for something greater. His stoic, goofy yet confident personality made him the ideal Presidential candidate. He is proof that no matter where you come from, you can make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Rocky’s platform is one every American and dog can get behind. Read about it from him firsthand!

“Rocky’s story is one of resilience, hope and the indomitable spirit of second chances,” said Joe, Rocky’s K9 Trainer. “He embodies values like loyalty, courage and unwavering love.”

“A Service Dog provides the unconditional love, support and kindness this country needs,” said Dan Bean, CEO of K9s For Warriors. “Rocky is the perfect symbol of hope for Americans, especially those who have served. He will raise awareness about Service Dogs and how they are proven to help struggling Veterans. Rocky is ready to lead with a wag and a woof.”

Roughly 20 Veterans take their own lives each day. Rocky and K9s For Warriors are determined to change that through the research-backed healing power of highly trained Service Dogs. There are also more than three million dogs in shelters in the U.S. Nearly 400,000 dogs are euthanized each year, according to ASPCA.

Rocky's Campaign Policies

Compassionate Leadership: As a Service Dog, I embody empathy, compassion and unwavering loyalty to Veterans in need. My commitment to serving our nation’s heroes knows no bounds and I will bring these qualities to the highest office in the land!

Paw-sitive Policies for All: My platform focuses on implementing paw-sitive policies that prioritize the well-being and happiness of Veterans and all Americans. With my battle buddy at my side, I will be sure to promote belly rubs and ample treats as a basic right! I promise to work tirelessly to make America a better place for Veterans.

Support for Veterans and Service Animals: As a Service Dog in training, I understand the importance of supporting our Veterans and service animals. I will advocate for access to improved care, assistance programs and recognition for the invaluable contributions of our Veterans and their furry companions.

Promotion of Paw-sitivity and Kindness: I will lead by example and promote paw-sitivity, kindness and love in everything I do. Together, we can wag our tails and spread joy to all corners of the country.

Thank you to our campaign sponsor, Sparkling Ice!

“Rocky’s candidacy is a great reminder of the important work that Service Dogs do in communities across America every single day,” said Veronica Blankenship, Chief People and Communications Officer at Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of Sparkling Ice. “By training rescue dogs to be service animals for Veterans in need, K9s For Warriors is saving lives on both ends of the leash. Talking Rain supports Rocky’s promise to wag more and bark less and our joint commitment to wellness, community and inclusivity.”

Rocky’s first campaign stops will be in Washington, DC on July 10 and Philadelphia on July 11.

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