ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos, through the support of Owner Carrie Walton Penner and Head Coach Sean Payton, will sponsor the training of two service dogs in partnership with the K9s For Warriors organization.
The two 11-month-old black Labrador brothers, named Bucky and Thunder, were born in Alabama, and will travel to Denver as part of their service dog training. Once the dogs have completed their training, they will each be paired with a veteran in need.
"Through the leadership and support of Owner and Foundation Board Chair Carrie Walton Penner and Head Coach Sean Payton, we are excited to sponsor the training of Bucky and Thunder," Allie Engelken, Broncos Vice President of Community Impact, said. "Affectionately named after two iconic Denver mascots, we are excited to see them grow into passionate and hard-working service dogs that will create a lasting impact on a Colorado veteran's life."
K9s For Warriors is a nonprofit organization that is committed to ending veteran suicide and provides highly trained service dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other invisible wounds of war.
"We are incredibly grateful for the support of Owner Carrie Walton Penner and Head Coach Sean Payton as well as the entire Denver Broncos organization to further our mission to end veteran suicide," K9s For Warriors CEO Carl Cricco said. "K9s For Warriors has the privilege every day to see the impact a service dog has on a veteran. With a battle buddy by their side, the veteran returns to a life of dignity and independence. The Broncos' generosity allows us to continue changing veteran lives."
Dedicated to saving not just one life, but two, K9s For Warriors rescues a majority of their dogs for its service dog program, allowing both the K9 and veteran to build an unwavering bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery. On average, they pair up to 16 veterans with service dogs each month. To date, the organization has rescued more than 2,000 dogs and paired nearly 1,000 veterans with lifesaving service dogs.
Bucky and Thunder will be the Broncos' first-ever "team dogs" and are excited to make their debut during the team's Salute to Service game on Nov. 19, against the Minnesota Vikings (6:20 p.m. MT kickoff).
Bucky and Thunder, the new team dogs the Broncos will sponsor in partnership with the K9s For Warriors organization, visited with Broncos Owner Carrie Walton Penner, Head Coach Sean Payton and staff members.