MDD Rico arrived in the United States in early June of 2022 and spent some time with the Marshall Legacy Institute's Executive Director, Elise Becker, and Program Manager, Indre Sabaliunaite, before arriving at his forever home with Educational Programs Director, Anne Wooleyhand.
Rico arrived in Delaware on June 24th where he met his new family and furry friends. He met Dr. Jessica and was given a clean bill of health. He quickly acclimated to his new surroundings and started his work as the canine ambassador for MLI.
Making his first official appearance at the United States Peace Institute in Washington, D.C. on July 8th, Rico demonstrated his ability to interact with people and show off his amazing behavior.
Less than a week later, Rico made his first appearance on Capitol Hill where he was the star of a briefing on de-mining in Cambodia. Rico impressively sat for photos with H.E. Keo Chhea, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United States.
Since his arrival in the United States, Rico has visited eight different states and demonstrated his sniffing skills while raising awareness to the landmine issue 28 times to more than 4,300 people, 3,000 of which were school children. He has been on Capitol Hill 2 times, attended the MLI Clearing the Path Gala and the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps 247th Birthday Ball, provided community service by visiting the Brandywine Senior Center 3 times and serving as the halftime presentation at the Cricket Center Derby.
When Rico is not training or working, he and his furry friends play and enjoy fun times together. Rico dressed up as one of the three bears for Halloween, met Santa at Christmas, and has attended festivals and events as he learns about American culture. In his free time, Rico loves to run and take long walks, chew on his favorite bone, and receive lots of pets and treats.
As the Caine Ambassador, Rico has two main goals called Rico’s Reach. The first and most important is to raise awareness to the humanitarian impact of landmines and to empower young people to act towards positive change. His demonstrations show the amazing life-saving work dogs like him are able to do and how effective they are as a tool for mine clearance. As part of his first goal, Rico will visit as many of the United States as possible. The second goal is for Rico to raise funds for another life-saving hero dog. The cost of a mine detection dog is $25,000 which covers training, food, medical care, toys, transportation, and housing. MLI sponsored mined detection dogs are among the most highly trained dogs in the world. To date, Rico has raised $2,400 towards his goal. Rico has a book coming out later this summer, and all proceeds from the book will go towards his fundraising goal.
If you would like to support the work Rico is doing to raise funds, please click the link below.