WCFairpicThe Count Down Begins to Opening Day –August 4 The 155th Wayne County Fair Where Farm Meets Fun!

Creating lasting summertime memories are part of the planning, and the Wayne County Fair has gone above and beyond, both in terms of its variety of quality entertainment, food, and agricultural opportunities for many area residents but also in its status as a “local” fair. “Its market and reach is much larger than anyone could imagine. People come to the fair from all over the world by way of area camps and vacation destinations,” says marketing director Deborah Milliron. “The entertainment and economic value literally extends into three states (NY PA and NJ), 6 counties and 165 zip codes.”      This year’s fair is no exception to the event’s growth either; with over 2 million visitors in the last 25 years alone, the Fair shows no signs of slowing down. “Some of the vendors and food merchants will secure their spots on the midway for next year before they leave the fair this August, which speaks volumes to the stability the Fair provides to the Northeast economy.”  With long-time favorite stands such as Bethany United Methodist Church Ice Cream stand and new vendors who will be put to the test as they offer products or food on the midway for the first time, the return of popular attractions like the Monster Truck Freestyle Event and Wild About Dinosaurs’ T-Rex wandering dinosaur, and performances by country music star Granger Smith and Jake Worthington from the Voice, the Fair is guaranteed to “wow” all who pass through its gates. “It is no secret that in recent years the WC Fair’s concert venues have proven to be the launching pad for some very famous country music stars like Justin Moore, Jake Owen, Chase Rice and Craig Campbell,” says Milliron. “The fair is proud to offer these rising artists who want to perform on our stage for our visitors.”        And of course, the Wayne County Fair exists “because of the agricultural community to exhibit products, agriculture and machinery and has since 1862.” Livestock are registered and judged in competitions just prior to the fair, and agricultural organizations such as 4-H consider the Fair to be a highlight of their year. Harness Racing and a Horse Pulling, Tractor & Truck Contest are also mainstays each year at the Fair.    Above all else, the Wayne County Fair can’t be beat for its quality and affordability; free parking, free rides, free featured grandstand events and admission is only $10.00 per person which includes a parking and rides. “People have been coming to the fair since they were kids,” says Milliron. “It’s a family tradition.” For more information visit


HonesdaleSteampunkThe Greater Honesdale Partnerships Steampunk Honesdale Friday, July 21, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. & Saturday, July 22, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Greater Honesdale Partnership, The Dime Bank, and all of Honesdale’s diverse merchants invite you to attend Steampunk Honesdale on Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22, sponsored by The Dime Bank with support from Wayne County Tourism.        Historic Main Street will be filled with a variety of great merchandise offered by its fine local stores, area vendors, Steampunk artists and vendors, and area non-profits. You are all invited to come and explore all that Honesdale has to share.         Come to Honesdale and browse through the great variety of stores, learn about the wonderful local history and services, and dine at one of the many area restaurants and cafes. Honesdale has great shops on every block, so wear your walking shoes. For a full list, stop by one of the shops in Honesdale and pick up our brochure, complete with a colorful map, list of events and historic walking tour, or go to             We invite you to visit the past and enjoy the great exhibits at the newly expanded and remodeled Wayne County Historical Society, located at 810 Main Street. The Historical Society is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year with a new exhibit called History of Wayne County in 100 Objects. An exhibit not to be missed! The Museum will be open both days from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.         Steam returns to Honesdale with rail excursions aboard a real steam locomotive on the Stourbridge Line both days, as well as on Sunday. Please go to or call 570-470-2697 for ticket information and departure times. Enjoy the Wayne County Farmers Market, on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., (located in front of Dave’s Food Town, 220 Willow Ave.) featuring many items made and grown locally.         While Honesdale is an extremely accessible town, scooter rentals will be available at Stephens Pharmacy/NE Med-Equip, located at 1101 Main Street for your shopping convenience. Full day rentals are available for $25.00 per day and hourly rentals begin at $15.00 for the first two hours with $5.00 for each additional hour up to $25.00. Please call 570-253-7700 for additional information.     There will be many fun activities during this new event! Enter the Beards and Gears contest at Chyle’s Classic Cuts. Deck out your favorite pet in its finest Steampunk attire and have a photo taken for posterity at Fins and Feathers. Make a pair of Steampunk earrings at Bloom, or get a Tarot reading from Madame Savoir tout cela at Honesdale Green House Flowers. Need a new book to read? Join the fun at the Wayne County Public Library and participate in their Blind Book Sale. Don’t forget to visit Steampunk Commons (Central Park) on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to see the Steampunk artwork and creations brought to you by the Wayne County Arts Alliance and enjoy the classic car cruise beginning at 5:00 p.m. Make sure to purchase your Coal Drop raffle ticket for your chance to win one of seven great prizes!           The fun doesn’t stop at 5:00 p.m.! Have fun at the “Green Hour” Absinthe Party from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Wine Room on both Friday and Saturday, or dance the night away at the Steampunk Contra Dance, Saturday night, at The Cooperage.     Many more events are in the works! Stay tuned for details. Go to often for more updates.

audubon-artcraft-festivalNEPA Audubon Festival

Bringing People & Nature Together!

For 32 years, the Audubon Festival has been bringing many of America’s finest nature and wildlife artists, craftsmen, nationally-acclaimed wildlife presentations, and children’s hands-on learning activities to Hawley every July. Envisioned to bring awareness of our natural treasures in our area, the funds from this event have underwritten over 100 environmental scholarships for children and teachers, as well as providing books and research materials for all of the area schools and public libraries. The tireless efforts of its volunteers, as well as the collaborative efforts with its partners, have made this annual event one of the foremost leaders in Environmental Education and Awareness in the Pocono Region today.

Designed originally to bring awareness of Nature’s wonders through art and close up encounters with our region’s wildlife, its efforts are now being emulated across the country. For 32 years, the Festival has been enticing many of the most acclaimed wildlife artists in American and Canada to be a part of this two day celebration. Its reputation is such that now many of the top American nature artists are present year after year.

The Festival expanded to include many of the area’s best craftsmen, encouraging demonstration and explanations about techniques, especially for children. This year will feature not only many of our regions local craftsmen, but from twelve different states, as well.          The real jewel of the event, however, is its wildlife and nature presentations. These exhibits and presentations have always been designed for kids, yet, the audience is filled with fascinated adults, as well. Through the years, children have been able to look eye to eye with some of North America’s most unusual creatures and have the animals look back… alive, curious, and…well fed.

Over the years, many different animals have been featured up close and alive – Black Bears, Cougars, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, Vultures, and even the American Condor have all been visitors to the Festival, not to mention, all of the opossums, skunks, raccoons, and the wide variety of snakes, turtles, frogs, and even a wide variety of strange insects. All of these creatures have been accompanied by top experts from around the country, ready to answer any questions and to bring to life what it is like to live the life of these animals.

This year is going to be no exception to this long history of eagerly awaited NEPA Audubon Festivals. Among the 2017 Festival highlights are hands-presentations by the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Bwana Jim’s Wildlife Show, an award winning children’s presentation on wildlife. Second Chance Wildlife Center will be presenting on the rescue and rehabilitation of native PA wildlife as well. In addition, there are presentations and exhibits by a variety of other environmental groups.

“While the festival is designed for people of all ages, education and fun for the younger set is especially appropriate. Proceeds help to fund scholarships and literature for children and teachers to learn more about nature and protecting the environment,” Festival Coordinator Dave Fooks said.          Some of the finest Nature and Wildlife Artists in the country from fifteen different states will exhibit and sell their original paintings, sketches, photography, and serigraphy.  Eighty-three craftsmen, both local and regional, will exhibit their work, all of it selected for its interrelationship with themes of nature.

The dates of the Audubon Festival this year are July 22 & 23. The Festival is held at the Wallenpaupack Area Middle School, an in-door, air conditioned facility, on Route 6 in Hawley, PA. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Plenty of delicious food is available at the event. Admission is $5, and children under the age of 12 years are admitted free.


Wally-Lake-FestWally Lake Fest 2017 Returning Events August 25-27, 2017 This year marks Wally Lake Fest’s eighth year and it’s widely known as the biggest festival celebrating the Big Lake and the tail end of the summer season.

Residents and visitors flock to the shoreline and glistening waters to participate in the many scheduled water activities and also have a blast on dry land.

On Friday, Wally Lake Fest officially kicks off in a celebratory way as the local restaurants, pubs and other establishments feature a variety of live entertainment.  Live music is also scheduled for the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, The Open Market Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center as local artisans and crafters showcase their wares and handmade products from maple syrup to soaps.  There will be 100+ vendors located at the Wallenpaupack HS, Hawley Silk Mill and Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center which can all be visited using the FREE shuttle bus service. Shuttle bus capacity has been doubled from last year due to the demand.

Both days, the Boat, Watercraft and Outdoor Show at the Wallenpaupack Area High School allow boat enthusiasts the opportunity to view beautiful boats and other watercraft.  People can enjoy vendors and food stands in between browsing.  Also, free face painting and live entertainment add to the fun.  In addition, many local marinas display some of their products. The show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the most popular Wally Lake Fest events is the sailboat rides, which are offered on Saturday. People who always wanted to sail but may not know how to themselves can experience this thrilling sport at Lighthouse Harbor Marina from 12p.m. to 4 p.m.  The lake is appreciated in all its glory as the wind whips the sails and the boats glide through the glistening water.  The sailboats depart approximately every hour for a one hour sail.  Members of the Paupack Sailing Club enthusiastically volunteer their time, boats and skill to give people a one-of-a-kind experience on the lake. Reservations are required and start on July 31st at 10 a.m.   Call the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center at (570) 226-2141. Voice messages are NOT accepted. Boats fill up quickly so be sure to reserve your spot early!  A $10 donation per person, $5 for children 13 and younger will go to support Lacawac Sanctuary.

The boat parade is another boating event people love whether they enter and decorate their own boat or watch from the shoreline.  Boat registration is free and entrants can win thousands in cash in prizes for the best “dressed” boats with the first place winner receiving $2,000. Have fun and get creative! The parade line-up begins around 11 a.m. and judging at the Wallenpaupack Dike at approximately 2 p.m.

A returning crowd pleaser is Wallypalooza. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., two bands perform right on the water on top of a floating stage near the Dike and Visitors Center. The bands scheduled are Iron Cowboy and The May Babies. People are invited to drop anchor and listen on the lake from their boats, sit on the Dike while soaking up the sun and tunes or stroll along the walking trail, which spans a mile and a half from the Dike to the dam.

On Sunday, the Tour de Towpath Bike Ride takes off from the Visitors Center for a beautiful 16-32 mile road ride to the Zane Grey Museum along the Lackawax-en River. A $5 shuttle service is provided from Zane Grey or cyclists can bike back.  There is a $25 registration fee and participants can pre-register online Bike rentals are available for $35.

These favorite events and more are making a comeback for another weekend of Wally Lake Fest fun. Be sure not to miss out on these exciting activities!

Wally Lake Fest is proudly hosted by the Downtown Hawley Partnership and presented by Lighthouse Harbor Marina.  Additional details and daily updates are posted on the website,, and the Facebook page, so be sure to check it out   Pick up a Wally Lake Fest brochure at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center or other area businesses.

Lake Wallenpaupack Map



Headliner Set For Honesdale Roots & Rhythm
Music & Arts Festival – June 17th


LarkinPoePageJune17According to the sisters themselves, 2015 was a defining year of growth for Larkin Poe, an Atlanta-based Roots Rock’n’Roll duo, comprised of Rebecca and Megan Lovell: “We feel lucky to have experienced a year of life-changing moments that shaped and crystallized our artistic direction. We’re entering our mid-twenties; we’re coming into our own. We’ve lost love; we’ve found love. We’ve lived loud, leaving little pieces of our hearts in every club we’ve played around the world – and we are really proud to have come out of 2015 with new songs that speak to that change.”

This “change” they speak of is their second album, “RESKINNED,” a re-release follow-up of the critically acclaimed debut album, ‘KIN’. Voted as one of the Top-Ten albums released in 2014 by Huffington Post, Larkin Poe toured the world supporting the November 2014 release of ‘KIN’.  Rebecca states: “As musicians, singers, songwriters, and performers, we learn something new with every show we play; last year we played hundreds of shows from big festivals to tiny radio stations, from backing Elvis Costello to backing Conor Oberst. We’ve learned to stay on our toes and keep our artistic approach fresh.” This perpetual innovation fueled a writing spurt that the sisters felt compelled to immediately record and share with their fans.

A Brief History of Larkin Poe: “We have a very colorful family history,” explains lead singer/guitarist Rebecca, referencing the sisters’ familial connection to tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe: “There have been a lot of creative, hotheaded, mentally unstable branches in our family tree. Growing up in the midst of their crazy stories has definitely shaded our perception of normal. As artists, I think some of those eccentricities, passed down from generation to generation, have been even further exaggerated in us!” Megan, who contributes lapsteel to the lineup, chimes in: “As sisters, we wanted to pick a band name that had familial significance, so we decided pay tribute to our ancestors by taking on the name of our great-great-great-grandfather, Larkin Poe.”

The sisters celebrate that unique genealogy, and their own eccentricities, with their new release, ‘RESKINNED,’ on Restoration Hardware’s label RH Music. Produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums, Lana Del Rey) in Los Angeles, this fresh version of the original album ‘KIN’, includes new productions by Justin Warfield (She Wants Revenge, Nico Vega) and Wax LTD (Muse, Bon Iver, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5) who produced the new single “Trouble In Mind.” A sassy nod to the sisters’ southern heritage, “Trouble In Mind” features sassy, homegrown lyrics: “I’m a bad little angel. I fell from grace, a Georgia Peach gone bad, yeah, you know the taste.”

“As Georgia girls, we came up listening to and soaking in the source music of the south: the blues, country, Americana, and mountain music; classic rock, and southern rock. That deep and gritty heritage has seeped into the bloodstream of our music,” explains Megan, “We’ve reached a point in our lives where we no longer care to be quite so polite, so “nice,” so perfectionistic. Now is the time to be raw, unapologetically overdriven Larkin Poe. Deep in our bones, we are rockers. We’re ready to let the tiger out of the cage.”

The sisters’ southern identity was picked up and echoed by Huffington Post in a recent tagline: “These Gals like their Gritty Southern Heritage with a Cosmopolitan Twist.”

‘RESKINNED’ marks Larkin Poe’s second release with RH Music. After years of fierce independence (i.e., five self-released EPs and three years of international and domestic touring, without label support), the sisters decided to sign with RH Music. “We signed with RH Music because they wholeheartedly believe in our authenticity. They understand that we make music because we inherently need to make music, and they want to support that need,” explains Megan, “They’re a 21st Century patron of the arts.”

This new release will also be the first for their new relationship with Vertigo/Capitol/ Universal Germany in Europe. Rebecca comments: “We are honored to be working with Vertigo/Capitol/Universal in Europe. In the music industry, where “industry” sometimes takes precedence over “music,” the folks at Vertigo are tastemakers who still love music as much as we do.”

“Larkin Poe is our heart and soul, mashed up into a musical form. We live and breathe Larkin Poe,” says Megan, “Supercharged on that life commitment, we’ve been able to record music in studios across the country, to play our songs around the world, to perform onstage with our heroes – all of these experiences are deeply valuable to us and have built a strong foundation. Standing strong on that foundation, we are so proud to release ‘RESKINNED’ and see what 2016 has to bring.” These sisters continue to create their own story; written their way; played and sung by them.



You never know where you may find that restorable classic car of your dreams. Unfortunately, however, many times these cars have been stored in less than optimal conditions. Quite often, they have been exposed to the weather and even to small rodents and other wildlife! This can result in interiors that may exhibit foul odors such as musty or even barnyard-like smells.

In some cases, getting rid of these odors may require the costly removal and replacement of all the soft goods within the interior of the vehicle, such as the carpeting and upholstery.  Often however, this may not be required.  In this article, we address some of Disaster Blaster’s recommendations for odor removal techniques you can try first before you go to the expense of replacing those carpets and upholstery.

The first step to getting rid of odors is to remove the source of the odor.  To do this thoroughly clean the vehicle, both in and out.  Don’t forget the engine and trunk compartments. Pay particular attention to the soft goods in the vehicle such as the carpets, upholstery, and headliner.  It is these areas that tend to hold most of the odors.

These soft goods should first be vacuumed thoroughly.  After vacuuming, inspect these areas for any staining that is apparent.  Any stained areas should then be pretreated with a professional grade stain remover.  After allowing the stain remover to sit the length of time suggested in its instructions, then shampoo these soft goods very meticulously.  We suggest adding a professional grade deodorizer to the shampoo solution during this process.  Next, allow the vehicle to completely dry out.  Keep the vehicle windows and, if possible doors, open during the drying and may want to use some fans to speed up this process and help blow residual odors from the interior.  If it is a sunny day, it helps to let this drying occur outdoors. After the vehicle is dry, inspect the vehicle for any further staining and odors that may still be present. It may be necessary to repeat the process above numerous times before you reach a point where you are satisfied.

If the odor still persists, another method that has worked is using bicarbonate powder to help remove the odors.  While dry, sprinkle this powder liberally on the carpets as well as the upholstered seats and allow it to sit for a several hours.  Then vacuum up the dust and ventilate the car for at least an hour.  Again, this may need to be repeated for optimal results.

Often, the odor may be coming from the vehicle’s air-conditioning or heating system.  This is usually caused by bacteria or mold growing within these systems.  To take care of this, use a liquid antimicrobial product, which can be purchased at most cleaning product stores or online. You will want to spray this product heavily on the floor of the car by the front doors with the door open. Once applied, first run the air-conditioning system for at least five to ten minutes followed by running the heating system for that same period of time.  Make sure to set the system so that air is running through the entire system and all vents to ensure all internal areas are being treated. You may need to complete this treatment multiple times.  We also recommend that you add a deodorizer to the antimicrobial liquid for better effect.

Another way to reduce odors is to use a bar of scented soap in the vehicle.  This will serve to mask the odor by substituting it with a more pleasant scent for the short term until you can determine the odor’s source and remove it through proper remediation.  This soap often works better than car deodorizers.  Be sure to place this bar of soap in a place where it cannot move and get lodged near the brake or gas peddles.

While we are on this subject, we do want to comment on the use of ozone as an effective way of ridding vehicles of odors.  Disaster Blaster, Inc. owns a number of professional grade ozone machines that we use from time to time to remove smoke odors from fire or smoke damaged buildings.  These machines are very effective in oxidizing and removing odors.  We do not, however, recommend their use for removing odors from vehicles.

The reason for this is that ozone has been found to cause premature disintegration to some vital components in a vehicle, particularly those consisting of rubber.  While not all rubbers are affected by ozone, elastic rubber (elastomers) can be damaged and often destroyed by a relatively short exposure to these high levels of ozone.

Ozone causes cracks to form in these elastomers, which is appropriately known as ozone cracking.  It can occur in many safety-critical items such as fuel lines and rubber seals, such as gaskets and O-rings, which will ultimately lead to failure.  While ozone concentrations can be rather high when using an ozone generator, it is thought that only a trace amount of the ozone gas is needed to initiate this cracking.

It is often difficult to remove odors completely, but don’t give up!  Often a series of treatments are needed to see results.

Have fun cruising!

If there’s something that YOU want to hear about, please e-mail us at!


Sean_Nathanfinalphoto-570It was a private reunion held late at night in the cargo terminal of Newark Liberty International Airport the day after Christmas last December.  There was no flag-waving by gathered family and friends – just a lone Army staff sergeant waiting while a terminal attendant cut the nylon ties that sealed a crate – a crate that held his beloved friend.  As the ties fell away and with the mere calling of his name, Navy Chief Nathan bounded out of his crate and into the arms of Staff Sergeant Sean Harrigan. They were together again.

European-born German Shepherd Nathan began his service to our country after undergoing a year of training in Italy as a Military Working Dog, or MWD.  For the nine years following his successful completion of that training, he saw continuous service in India, Kuwait, Europe, Iraq, and Bahrain as a hunter of Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs.  It was in Bahrain that he and his new handler SSG Harrigan began the year-long partnership that inexorably bound them for the rest of their lives.

Nathan and his fellow explosive-detecting MWDs, capable of a 98% bomb detection rate, were trained to sniff out minuscule amounts of a wide-range of explosives while searching entry points, patrolling within secure installations and at checkpoints.  According to SSG Harrigan, Nathan’s job-specific modus operandum was to retreat five feet from a device he had detected, lie down facing the potential killer, and await its disposal.  When asked how many such finds Nathan had detected, the simple answer was “countless.”

Prior to 2000, Military War Dogs were euthanized at the end of their useful working lives.  That practice was abolished in November of that year when former President Bill Clinton signed H.R. Bill 5314, which immediately facilitated adoption of the canine war heroes.  Thus, after his retirement, Nathan remained at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Sicily, awaiting approval of SSG Harrigan’s efforts to bring him home to Dingmans Ferry.

After the clearing of the red tape, the only remaining obstacle to his homecoming was the payment of $602 in transportation fees.  Stepping up with donations to clear the way were three local area veterans organizations: VetStock, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and the Marsch-Kellogg American Post 139 (through its Benevolent Fund), all of which are unwavering in their commitment to improve the lives of our area’s former and present Armed Services men, women, and families.

These days, Nathan can sometimes be found at the American Legion Post 139 in Milford, Pike County, where, in recognition of his undying service to his country, Legion members continue to honor him with the permanent installation of a doggie bed and an endless supply of treats, ear-scratching, and head pats.

It would be difficult to find a more appropriate characterization of Nathan’s service and devotion than the following by Naturalist and Crusader Ernest Harold Baynes who wrote:


“Of all the animals that have come into the service of mankind, the dog is preeminent in intelligence.  But that isn’t all:  He is more than intelligent, for he is inspired by the love that merges into deathless devotion.

He is more than burden bearer, more than toy, more than companion; he fills posts of human responsibility, his integrity is unassailable, his loyal supreme.

‘The more I see of men,’ said Frederick the Great, ‘the better I like dogs.’ And today there are those who hold that, in accepting the company of men, the dog certainly condescended to a mesalliance.”


Department of Defense Military Working Dog Adoption Program

american flag ILLBlur-570Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are these dogs available for adoption?

Most of our dogs that become available for adoption are relatively young dogs that have failed to meet training standards, while others are older dogs that have completed their service and are being made available for adoption.  Still others are being medically retired from service due to injury or sickness that will preclude them from performing the mission.  Additionally, dogs who have served as Contract Working Dogs or CWDs utilized by contractors primarily in Kuwait are consistently available for adoption through the United States War Dog Association.

  1. Is any priority given to veterans or other persons?

Congressional Military Working Dog adoption law gives priority first to prior handlers, then civilian Law Enforcement Agencies, and finally to the general public.  Better than 90% of former MWDs are adopted by their handlers.

  1. Can our company or business adopt a dog and use it for security work or detection work?

All dogs that are transferred to Law Enforcement Agencies are done so with a contractual agreement which stipulates that the dog belongs to the department.  Only Law Enforcement Agencies are charged under statute with enforcing laws and are thus able to apply for an available dog.   All dogs adopted to private parties are done so on a separate agreement that includes stipulations that the dog is not allowed to perform patrol or security work, either public or private, nor will it be allowed to perform any substance detection work, either public or private.  The DoD representative responsible for placing the dog retains the choice as to the fitness of any retired dog for any home or agency.

  1. Where are the dogs located?

Two programs exist.  Dogs that have been/are assigned to bases around the globe are adopted (when approved for retirement/ separation) from the location where they are assigned.  The Kennel Master at that base is the person who best knows the status of their assigned K9 Heroes.  Keep in mind that quite often former handlers, with priority rights under Public Law, adopt their former comrades.  Also, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sometimes has promising dogs available for adoption, but not always.

  1. What can you tell me about the dogs?

All our Military Working Dogs are trained at Lackland Air Force Base and then sent to operational units throughout the DOD.  The dogs are usually a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retriever, and occasionally a mixed breed or other sporting/herding breed dog.  They range in age from one to 13 years, and include both males and females, although they are spayed or neutered before being adopted.

  1. How long can I expect to wait to be able to adopt one of your dogs?

Due to very strong public interest in adopting retired Military Working Dogs after their period of service to our nation, we are obliged to process and prioritize in excess of a thousand applications every year.  Because so many people are “queuing up” to adopt a relatively small number of available dogs, prospective Military Working Dog adopters can expect delays up to, and often beyond six months before a dog is available for them.  We follow the “first come, first served rule,” so that when a suitable dog becomes available, we offer that dog to the party that has waited longest.  If you are interested in adopting a Military Working Dog into your family, we encourage you to get your application in and we will schedule you for a dog as soon as we can.  However, be prepared for a long wait due to the community’s high interest in our adoption program.  Once we set you up with an appointment to meet our adoptable dogs, please be considerate of other eager adoptive families.   If you need to cancel, please do so as early as possible so we can fill the appointment with another applicant.

  1. What happens once I get an appointment to go to Lackland Air Force base, near San Antonio, TX to meet/adopt one of your dogs?

Once you have your appointment, expect to make at least two visits, normally two consecutive days.  On the first day, about one hour is needed to review your application and then to greet the dog(s).  Once you’ve selected a dog, we’ll need time to get the dog ready for adoption, and our veterinary clinic will need time to get the dog ready for departure.  Your dog should be ready to depart with you on the second day; however, sometimes issues arise that are outside the control of the adoption administrator and we ask for your patience and understanding.

  1. Will I be able to select the sex or breed or age of dog that I prefer?

We will do our best to match our available dogs with your preferences in terms of breed, gender, color, etc., but cannot guarantee that we will have a dog that will exactly match your desires. Please remember that no matter what their type, sex or color, these retired Military Working Dogs were selected by the DoD for their stable and outgoing temperaments.  They make wonderful companions and deserve great homes.

  1. Can you give me an overview of the Adoption Process?

The MWD Adoption Process starts when you submit a completed application.  Once we receive the completed application, you will receive a confirmation, normally by email that it has been received.  Your application will be kept on file in order of the date of receipt.  If questions arise when going over your application, we will usually email or telephone you for clarification.  As we schedule each month’s appointments, we’ll start with the oldest applications first.  Those who decline a scheduled appointment will be removed from the list of applications. When your application is pulled, you’ll be contacted about possible dates available within the time frame being filled, usually a calendar month.  About thirty days before your appointment, you should
receive a courtesy phone call or email seeking confirmation of your appointment and indicating information needed for a base pass, if it is required.  If you do not reply to this courtesy e-mail or phone call, we will be forced to give your appointment to somebody else, and your application will be deleted from our waiting list.

On the day of your appointment, please plan to arrive at the gate early to obtain your pass.  You will need a current driver’s license, proof of vehicle insurance, and current registration.  Once you arrive at the kennel facility, we’ll show dogs that are well suited to your interest/ability and home life.  Once you’ve selected a dog for adoption, we’ll refer the dog to the Veterinary Hospital for a departure physical, which is usually scheduled for the following day.  After the physical is completed, the Veterinary Staff will provide photocopies of applicable medical records for you to take to your animal health practitioner.  The records and dog are usually available shortly after the noon hour on this second day.  Bring a leash, suitable collar, and your driver’s license.  After you sign the indemnity agreement, you will be allowed to depart with your new family member.  This process normally takes about one hour.


The definitive source for information regarding adoption of both Military Working Dogs and Contract Working Dogs is the United States War Dog Association, Inc. (See


DogMedicalCarepic-570A free specialized Medical Care Program for retired Military Working Dogs and Contract Working Dogs is offered through the United States War Dogs Association, American Humane Association and Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Red Bank, NJ.

With healthcare costs on the rise, this program will help eliminate some of the financial burden put upon individuals and families who have adopted a retired MWD/CWD.  This is not an insurance program, but is a bona fide Specialized Medical Care Program for retired MWDs/CWDs, which will only be recognized by Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals of New Jersey.  (There are five locations: Tinton Falls, Cherry Hill, Hillsborough, Linwood, and Red Bank.  For more information on Red Bank Veterinary Hospital please visit their website at:

To participate, complete the Specialized Medical Care Program application (available on the website at: and submit it, along with a copy of your Retired MWDs/CWDs Adoption papers, via regular mail, email or by fax to the U.S. War Dogs Association.  Once the application and adoption papers are received, the owner and his or her dog will be entered into a database shared only with the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. (Any MWD already signed up for the Free Rx Prescription Drug Program will NOT have to sign up a second time as the required information has been previously added to the USWDA database.)

Then simply contact the United States War Dogs Association, which in turn will verify to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital that care for your MWD/CWD is in order and has been accepted.  You will also receive a letter (which will be mailed, emailed or faxed to you) to take to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital of your choice.

Your responsibility will be to provide your own transportation.  Specialized Medical Care will be free of charge while your dog is being cared for at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital.  The United States War Dogs Association will see that you are reimbursed for your hotel accommodations. (A list of local hotels can be found on the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital website.)

For further information please contact:

U.S. War Dogs Association, Inc.

Attn:  Ron Aiello, President

1313 Mt. Holly Road

Burlington, New Jersey 08016

Phone: 609-747-9340

Cell: 609-234-4539

Fax: 609-747-9340



When planning a home remodel, the scariest thing to most people is the potential for busting the budget.  This is a legitimate concern, as little things can add up quickly.

But, much as they can add up to increase the cost of a remodel, they can also add up to big savings!

And who doesn’t want to save money on their home remodel?

Planning a cushion:

Before we get into tips for saving money on your remodel, it’s important to discuss the likelihood that something additional may come up during your project.  Home construction can be unpredictable, and things like wall cavities can hide various defects and code issues.  In order to account for the unexpected, setting aside a cushion is important with any home remodel.  20% of the project cost is generally recommended, and hopefully you won’t need it.

Does the space need to be bigger or more efficient?

We’ve all been there.  If only we had a bigger kitchen, a larger bathroom, more space…  But is your current space maximized?  Take into consideration that the home addition that is necessary to give you more space will generally be significantly more expensive than a remodel designed to maximize the space that you already have.  Things like custom cabinetry designed to make better use of your existing space, or organization options intended to maximize function may provide you with what you want at a fraction of the cost!

Does the exterior need to be changed?

If you’re getting rid of an exterior door or window, you’ll likely need to replace siding, but do you have to replace all of it?

With wood siding, you often can locate a mill or supply company that is able to match the existing siding.  Getting paint that matches then allows you to only replace the section of siding that was affected by the project.

In the case of vinyl siding, which will fade and discolor over time, you’re unlikely to ever match the color that it is now.  While an option, replacing all of the siding is costly and depending on the condition of the rest of the siding, may be unnecessary.  Other options that you may want to explore, where feasible, are façades such as stone.  Even if you need to replace a somewhat larger section for uniformity or personal preference, it may still be cheaper than residing the entire home.

Minimize wasted time for your contractors:

We certainly understand that you would like the project to be completed as quickly as possible so that you can start using your new space, but hurrying things along can also result in additional unforeseen cost.  While your electricians and framers may be finished in one area, scheduling your drywallers prematurely may create some complications if they catch up to the electricians or framers.  It’s best to handle each project in stages, ensuring that you’re ready for the next step before scheduling this work.  A properly scheduled project may even result in savings for the contractor, allowing you to negotiate a reduced project cost!

Similarly, if you’re responsible for purchasing materials, choose options that will reduce labor costs whenever possible.  Things like moldings that have already been primed can significantly reduce labor costs as it will mean that your contractor will only need to paint these items, saving them a step.  The additional cost for factory-primed molding is much less than the cost to have this primed by your contractor.

Leverage your contractor’s contacts

If you’re taking the responsibility of getting certain materials, ask your contractor who they use.  These vendors may offer you a discount or give you the heads-up that a product is soon to be discontinued or discounted.

Check overstocks, clearance, and remnants

Shopping overstocks and clearance materials is a great way of saving some money on material costs, particularly with flooring.  Floor tile is regularly replaced with newer styles and patterns, forcing the store to offer deep discounts on current stock to make room.  If you’re shopping for carpet for a single room, you may want to look at remnants or the end pieces left over on a roll of carpeting.  People are often surprised by how large some remnants are, and this is a great way to save some money on your carpet.

Is there anything that you can do?

Sweat equity is a great way of saving some money on a home remodel, but be sure to run this by your contractor before you get your hands dirty.  While you certainly don’t want to do anything that will complicate, delay the project, or potentially increase costs, your contractor may have some recommendations of things that you can do.  Perhaps tearing out cabinets or drywall before the remodel begins, or painting after the work is completed.  Safety note: Always use proper safety equipment when performing any construction tasks, and leave things like plumbing and electrical to the experts.

Forget the deliveries

If you have a larger vehicle such as a pickup truck or a trailer, you may want to consider picking up materials rather than having them delivered.  The delivery cost savings is sure to add up quickly, and you can still opt for large items like drywall to be delivered if needed.

Avoid “peak” construction season

If you’re hoping for a discounted interior remodel cost, try to schedule your project for when your contractor is less busy, for example during the winter months.   Not only will you keep your contractor busy when they normally are not (which they will appreciate), but they are more likely to offer you a discount on their work!

Don’t move the toilet or sink

Moving plumbing such as toilets, sinks, and showers can significantly increase the cost of a remodel.  If possible, keeping these items in the same location can save you additional expense that you may be able to avoid.  Your contractor should be able to inspect your plumbing to determine its condition and age and make recommendations as to whether replacement will be necessary.

Plan with stock sizes in mind (custom doors/ windows vs. stock items)

Custom windows and doors are much more expensive than stock items, making this a great opportunity to reduce cost if possible.  Often, custom items become necessary for no other reason than a final design that requires an unusual size.  Keeping stock sizes in mind during the design stage will allow you to not only plan for the use of more readily available (and cheaper) materials, but will also avoid the delays that often occur when waiting for custom items to be manufactured and delivered.

Buy building supplies at auction

This is a great opportunity to save a significant amount of money on your materials, but it is not without risk.  Will those cabinets fit in your new kitchen?  Is that going to be enough floor tile?  Whenever considering building materials at auction, always double and triple measure to be sure before placing your bid.  If you’re still unsure, call your contractor to confirm before committing to the purchase.

Make decisions early and communicate

Communication is key during any home project.  Selecting materials early and committing to design plans on time will allow your contractor to plan one step ahead.  Waiting until the last minute, or worse, being late with selections can create delays in the project and could increase costs.

Some decisions, such as the location of recessed lighting, are very labor intensive and costly to change after drywall has been hung for instance.  Making these design decisions early will allow your contractor to plan for this work and the entire project proceed.

While these are some of the most common ways of saving money on your remodel, there are many others.  Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor what recommendations he may have for ways that you can save money on your project!

If there’s something that YOU want to hear about, please e-mail us at!