Supermodel Kate Upton was in Lakeland Thursday to support the SPCA, and fundraise for a special adoption group that provides service dogs for veterans.

Upton headlined the "Grand Slam Adoption" event at Joker Marchant Stadium, just before a Detriot Tigers spring training game.

Upton’s boyfriend, Tigers star pitcher Justin Verlander, was also on hand inside to support the cause.

Upton met with veterans participating in the K9s for Warriors program. It rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to become service dogs for veterans with PTSD and other war related injuries.

Bryan Foltz is one of those benefiting from K9s for Warriors' efforts. For Foltz, life hasn’t been easy readjusting after two tours in Iraq.

“It was rough," said Foltz. "It was an experience. The fear of never knowing whether you’re coming home is apparent and everlasting."

After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Foltz struggled with some day to day tasks, and found it hard to be out in public without severe anxiety. He even had suicidal thoughts before a lab-mix named Dell came into his life.

“He is my best friend, by far,” Foltz said.

K9s for Warriors spends $20,000 or more on each dog for a veteran. The dogs learn how to do maneuvers that help veterans with PTSD.

“He’s actually watching my back for me, so I can engage with people in front of me and not have to worry about what’s going on behind me,” Foltz said. “Dell is trained to do certain tasks like a block, where he goes between me and another person, so he doesn’t allow them to get very close.”

The pair was very excited to meet Upton, who talked a few moments with Foltz and Dell.

“The most important thing for a cause is to bring awareness," Upton told Foltz, "and I hope that’s what I bring to your organization, awareness to the fact that veterans need our help after they’ve given so much of their lives to our country.”

Foltz is now in law school, a feat he never could have imagined before Dell was in his life.

“K9s for Warriors isn’t only saving a dog. It saves a veteran,” Foltz said.

For more information on the organization, visit