A life-size granite sculpture is only part of a new memorial that opens today in Encinitas in honor of working military dogs.
From 9 to 11 a.m., The Rancho Coastal Humane Society shelter is set to host an event to celebrate the military dogs service and raise awareness about their adoption.
The event includes a ribbon cutting for a sculpture of a 12-year-old German Shepherd named Chyba, who served as a U.S. Army military patrol and security police dog in Kuwait and Germany.
Jim Silveira, president of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society, had the idea for the memorial after meeting Chyba, who came to San Diego to be adopted.
Silveira was asked to escort the dog to Washington D.C. alongside Chyba’s new owners, as they toured Arlington Cemetery with other military working dogs and their human handlers.
It was that tour that promoted Silveira to bring up the idea for a memorial to the human society board.
The shelter raised more than 80 percent of the costs for the memorial, with the remaining amount coming from the sale of engraved bricks.
This memorial is the first of it's kind in San Diego and there are only 8 similar memorials in the country.
Each year about 400 service dogs like Chyba are available for adoption after careers where they help save soldiers lives, according to Silveira.
For more information about the dogs and how you can help visit rchumanesociety.org.