Courage Fund

Providing free care to Wichita Police & Fire working dogs so their handlers only have to worry about catching criminals & rescuing citizens.

In order to make our dollars stretch further – & allow us to accept donations –  we launched the non-profit Courage Fund in May 2019 with an Open House & K-9 demonstrations.

  • About 200 folks enjoyed a free Texas Roadhouse pulled pork lunch while they watched amazing K-9 demonstrations from the Wichita Police Department & Wichita Fire Department as we launched our non-profit Courage Fund.
  • We featured Nash of the WPD & Sailor of the WFD because we provide free veterinary care for them.
  • This open house gave the community a chance to celebrate them & raise funds for their future care by purchasing Courage Fund K-9 Plush dogs & T-shirts.

The Courage FUND is managed through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, a 501c3 tax exempt charitable organization & every dollar raised is used to care for Nash, Sailor, Boomer & future COURAGEous dogs we meet.

Since 2016, Dr. Gary Stamps, founder & veterinarian at Animal Hospital at Auburn Hills, has provided free veterinary care to the Wichita Police Department’s K-9 Belgian Malinois, Nash, pictured here with his handler Dustin Nail.

In 2018, the Wichita Fire Department got its first Search & Rescue dog, Labrador Retriever Sailor, & we volunteered our care as well. She is pictured here with her handler Captain Chad Winton.
Photography donated by Linda Werhan Photography.

In 2020, The Wichita Police Department added a Bomb Dog, Golden Retriever Boomer, to its Bomb Squad & we said yes when asked if we would provide free veterinary care. He is pictured here with his handler Sergeant Stephanie Neal.

Public servants such as Wichita Police Department officer Dustin Nail, Wichita Fire Department Captain Chad Winton, & Wichita Police Department Detective Stephanie Neal, typically would need to pay for veterinary care out of their own pockets. We feel like they give enough to our great city.

Here’s how it all began…

An excited, young police officer named Dustin Nail stopped in to let us know he’d just been chosen to become a handler for the Wichita Police Department’s K-9 Unit. He said he wanted to establish a veterinary relationship before he met his new dog who would likely be coming all the way from Holland!

We congratulated him and thanked him for his service to our community. Then veterinarian Gary Stamps said he’d be honored to take care of 100% of veterinary costs.

It was a blessing for all of us!

But the blessings didn’t end there…

Dr. Stamps’ high school daughter, Anna, was scheduling senior portraits with local photographer Stacey Dershem, who had also learned about our WPD donation. Ms. Dershem added her own photography donation to capture the bond between Officer Nail and Nash in Wichita’s Swanson Park on a beautiful October day in 2017.

A giant canvas print hangs in our reception area of Officer Nail and Nash, as well a as a lovely canvas print of Anna Stamps with our clinic cat, Kato!

Wanting to do more for the K-9 Unit

  • We held a fundraiser in April 2017 to support all the dogs in the WPD K-9 Unit, raising $7,000 that went directly to the unit
  • Then folks asked how they could help us provide free veterinary care but we realized their donations would not be tax-deductible
  • We researched a way to allow our community to help these amazing service dogs and get a tax-deductible receipt for doing so
  • We partnered with the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation!
  • When we heard about the Wichita Fire Department’s first ever Search & Rescue dog, Sailor, we were thrilled to partner with her handler, Captain Chad Winton
  • Wichita got its first Bomb Dog, Boomer, and we are fortunate to care for him as well. 
  • Local photographer Milt Mounts of Essential Images Photography donated his time & talent to photograph Detective Neal and Boomer at our city’s Eisenhower Airport in Sept. 2020. 

Here’s how it works:

The Courage FUND is managed through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, a 501c3 tax exempt charitable organization and every dollar raised is used to care for Nash, Sailor, and future COURAGEous dogs we meet.

Questions? Ask Tracy McClure with Animal Hospital at Auburn Hills at [email protected]