'Project K-9 Hero' provides lifelong medical care for K-9s after service

They are loyal companions who risk their lives for Americans each and every day.

In tonight's Good News Guarantee, we learn about an organization that looks after the nation's K-9s long after they retire from duty.

Suzi is a TSA employee, on the job at Chicago's Midway Airport. She sniffs the air currents to detect explosive materials. The 8-year-old German Shepherd doesn't think twice about her role protecting travelers.

"I've had her since she was about 18 months old," said Justin Wolfschlag, Suzi's handler. "She's part of the family."

That's why Wolfschlag was elated when he learned all of Suzi's medical care would be paid for by the national nonprofit "Project K-9 Hero."

Jason Johnson founded the organization in 2016.

"No one was there to help these working dogs once they get out of service. Their medical care, that's not taken care of by the agencies they serve, it's up to the handler, whoever adopts the dog," Johnson said.

Each week "Project K-9 Hero" selects one K-9 to receive life-long medical care.

"The fact that my family doesn't have to come out of pocket anymore once she retires and she stays with us is absolutely amazing because that can be upwards of 20 to 25 thousand dollars," Wolfschlag said.

To date, the organization has paid for the health care of 256 K-9s in retirement.

"I was elated to hear about this K-9 Project Hero and their effectiveness at providing that type of medical care for K-9s after their usefulness for the federal government or any law enforcement entity," said Robert Jennings, supervisory transportation security specialist for K-9s.

For Suzi, it means she'll receive the top-notch medical care she deserves after a decade serving our country.

Jason Johnson, Project K-9 Hero founder, emphasized the commitment of these K-9s: "They raise their paw without hesitation; they will give their life for you and I, they will give their life for their partner. I'm trying to change the way we as a government or we as a society look at these dogs, and I want to make sure they're taken care of for generations to come."

If you're interested in learning more about Project K-9 Hero, you can visit ProjectK9Hero.org.

The organization also has a kennel in Tennessee where they care for retired dogs without homes. In one case, they were able to transfer one of those dogs to the sister of a soldier who died overseas, so that she had a memory of her brother. They also paid for that dog's healthcare.