In a week when many are remembering the sacrifice of the 9/11 dogs, Murphy’s Army is inviting animal lovers to join with them in their Purple Poppy Campaign to remember all the fallen animals, and to ensure that their loyalty and courage is never forgotten.
‘They had no choice’ are the words inscribed on the poignant Animals in War Memorial in Hyde Park which honours the many millions of animals, of all types and breeds, who died whilst serving alongside British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces over the years, and those who continue to give their lives today.
Over the past six weeks hundreds of poppies have been knitted or crocheted by an army of volunteers, all of whom have donated materials and their time to help. The poppies will go on sale at the beginning of October via the Murphy’s Army website and other online outlets, to raise funds for animals in need today.
As well as the traditional version for humans, a special poppy has been designed for animals to wear on their leads or collars.
Andy Smith, Founder of Murphy’s Army, said: “As an animal charity we strongly believe that animals lost in the course of duty should be remembered alongside their human counterparts. We’re not in any way advocating their involvement; we simply want to acknowledge the huge sacrifices that they too have made and ensure they are not forgotten.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to our campaign so far, and would like to thank everyone who’s lent their support. It’s been a humbling experience.”
Proceeds from the sale of the poppies will be split between Murphy’s Army and Bravo Working Dogs Rescue who are the only non-profit welfare organisation in the UK dedicated to the rescue of unwanted working dogs.
Debbie Connolly, Founder of Bravo Working Dogs Rescue, said: “I created Bravo to help the many retiring dogs from Police and Military who are otherwise sold or destroyed.
“These dogs are the reason your world is safer; they find bombs, drugs and guns, they catch criminals and lost children, they should spend their retirement in front of a fire, but many don’t.
“We thank Murphy’s Army for both their long campaign to help lost and stray dogs and for the honour of being included in this Purple Poppy fundraising event.”
More information about the Campaign and details of how to order poppies can be found on the website murphysarmy.org.
Murphy’s Army is named in honour of Murphy, a Siberian husky, who went missing, believed stolen, in December 2014. His devastated family launched a social media campaign to help find him and the animal loving community took Murphy and his family to heart. In a very short space of time his plight was known not only across the UK, but worldwide.
Murphy was reunited some three months later, but the campaign did not stop there. The team, drawn together by Murphy’s absence, pledged to continue their efforts and so Murphy’s Army was born. In June 2016 they were granted charity status and are now a charity registered in England and Wales, Registered Charity Number 1167823. Their mission is to help reunite lost and stolen pets with their owners, raise pet theft awareness and promote pet safety, welfare and care across the UK.