BLITZ And IVEY- Vests for MHPD K-9 Officers
Organized by: Landon Weyenberg
How did this project start? It started as a school assignment…
“Select a Community Service Project”
As a rising 6th grader at Hickory Grove Christian School, in Charlotte, N.C., Landon Weyenberg had an assignment of selecting a community service project (of each student’s personal choosing) as part of their 5th grade Language Arts curriculum. The goal was to help those in need within their community. The task would require research, as well as reaching out to a local business, in order to generate support for the chosen cause. After a lot of research, and confirmation of the “need,” Landon’s final decision was made easier by choosing a cause that was naturally close to his heart...DOGS. He decided that raising money to supply bullet proof vest for (2) newly acquired K-9 dogs (Blitz and Ivey) with the Mint Hill Police Department, would be a great way to invest his time and efforts. As pet owners of two angelic dogs, (Kendal, a Doberman and Ryder, a Sheltie) Landon decided to write his letter to our veterinarian, Dr. David Gallagher with Clear Creek Animal Hospital, to ask for his support. Shortly after the letter was sent, we received a call from Dr. Gallagher’s office, letting us know that he was indeed, interested in helping Landon raise the necessary funds for the K-9 protective vests.
What we learned from our research…
In today’s society, police dogs (K-9 officers) provide a unique, but necessary job in law enforcement. A K9 officer will often face the same, if not greater risk than a human officer because of being sent prior to their human counterparts in order to apprehend suspects or to investigate a dangerous situation. *In the past 10 years, bullet, stab or blunt trauma injuries caused 60% of police dog deaths. Whether it’s a search and rescue, or tracking and apprehending criminals; to sniffing out dangerous drugs and explosives, these furry officers work hard to faithfully protect the communities that they serve. As we considered that most human police officers have bulletproof vests as part of their uniform, we wondered why this doesn’t include all of our law enforcement officers. Considering that there are far less K-9 officers on duty in our communities than there are human officers, shouldn’t providing the necessary equipment for their protection hold the same importance?
The Red Tape Reality…..
There are on-going expense requirements associated with having K-9 units, and many government agencies around the country have very limited budgets for these needs. The K-9s themselves can cost anywhere from $14,000 to $20,000. Then, there are the continual costs of food expenses, vet bills, on-going training and equipment needs which are added to the department’s annual budget. Considering that (1) K-9 One™ bulletproof and stab proof vest cost over $875, this can be an out of reach expense for these agencies, leaving many K-9 dogs to work without the necessary protection of a vest. :-(
By helping to supply protective vests for K-9 officers, Blitz and Ivey, we can provide the additional protection they need…from the same criminals that they’re protecting us from.
While wearing a vest is not a 100% guarantee of survival, it does have a higher potential of stopping a bullet or a knife, simply by wearing it, thus providing a greater chance of survival for our K-9 officers. Please help us, achieve this goal, and donate what you can. Thanks for your support!!
*Facts information taken from nationalpolicedogfoundation.org.