Meet Us

Potter and RMWD IDD "Jig" M834 ( retired U.S. Marines - Sgt. )

 My name is Tracy Spader and I am the Founder and President of the K9
Defender Fund. I started this organization out of my love for "all
things K9" and my respect and admiration for the work that the
specialized K9 teams ( military, police, search & rescue and fire ) of
this country provide to us, the public.

For the last few years I have been a volunteer trainer with an
Assistance Dog organization and have witnessed first hand the
difference one of these furry spirits can make in a persons life. Over
the last 4 years I have been affiliated with a wonderful non-profit
whose main purpose was to provide support to Military Working Dogs and
their handlers. During that time I have made contact and become
friends with some of the most amazing people and the Military Working
Dog that walks beside them. In May of 2013, my community honored my
work with Military Working Dogs and their handlers, by awarding me
"The Michigan Minute Man Award". I consider this one of my biggest

My husband and I share our home with 3 dogs. We have been honored to
provide two of our retired 4-legged heroes ( Military Working Dogs ),
a home to call their own, accompanied with some much deserved "couch
time". In December of 2012, we lost our first Retired Military Dog,
"Buddy" E154 to cancer. Buddy was the first MWD to be buried with full
military honors, at The Michigan War Dog Memorial in S. Lyon. Our
second RMWD is a retired U.S. Marine Capt. , "IDD MWD Jig M134". He
has fit right in and is now one of the family.

I am honored and privileged to be able to offer support to the men,
women and K9's who work tirelessly and selflessly to provide
protection to myself and my family.  They do what they do without us
ever knowing their names or their stories, and they get up every day
and do it again. To those that "serve and protect", I give you my
thanks and my well wishes. After all, in the words of Mother Teresa,
I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot;
together we can do great things.

Laurie Althaus

I got involved with the K9 Defender Fund because of my friendship with Tracy and her passion for working dogs.
Her passion is contagious, and when you get to meet with these special K9’s and their handlers it gives you a clearer understanding of how much they give to keep us safe.
The love and respect between the handlers and the K9’s is palpable, it takes a lot of time, continued training and trust for these teams to do their jobs effectively.
It is my pleasure to be a small part of the K9 Defender Fund as we do what we can to raise money to provide trauma bags and specialty equipment to these very deserving teams.

My husband and I have one pretty terrific rescue dog named Holly, she has a lot of energy and a lot of love to give us and anyone who walks into our home.
That is what makes K9’s so special; their loyalty and their never ending love for their human pets and their ability to accept us as we are no matter what.

Thank you to all K9 working Teams for all that you do to keep us safe.
May you know how much you are appreciated and respected as you do your job each and every day…Stay safe!!