BENEFITING: VESTED INTEREST IN K9S INC
We have reached our goal! In fact, we've surpassed it by quite a bit. Thank you to everyone that has donated to this cause. We greatly appreciate your generosity. Any excess funds typically go to the Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. general fund for the next dog in line. In this case, we have worked to get the extra funds received through the fundraiser to go to getting a vest for the K9 unit in Elizabeth Borough, PA, for their dog, Ryker.
Thank you, again, for everyone's support!
K9s are more than just animals in uniform. K9 officers provide protection and intelligence for their handlers and their police force. They bring an aspect of law enforcement to communities that humans can’t provide. Whether it’s sniffing out drugs, detecting bombs, or chasing down criminals that try to escape on foot, these dogs are irreplaceable to a police force. But they provide much more than that. When they aren’t putting their lives on the line for their jobs on the police force, they provide companionship, love, and safety to their handlers and their families off-duty. These dogs are more than just partners; they are friends and family to the officers who handle them.
In January 2014, The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania lost one of their own police dogs, Rocco, to a stabbing when his handler sent him after a criminal attempting to flee on foot. Rocco died of stab wounds inflicted upon him by the criminal with a knife. Rocco selflessly did his job and put his life on the line. It’s my goal to try to prevent this type of tragedy from happening in the Swissvale community.
The Borough of Swissvale Police Department, in Swissvale, PA, currently has two K9s serving on their force, Echo and Brando. Both are in need of protective vests. Echo currently does not have one, and Brando’s vest is an older, outdated model which is due to be replaced.
About the dogs:
K9 Echo is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois. He is partnered with Officer Louis Sitzman of the Swissvale Police Department, which is just a few miles east of Pittsburgh, PA. The two have been working together since September of 2014. Echo and Officer Sitzman received 10 weeks of initial training as well as weekly training. Echo is a dual purpose narcotics and patrol officer. He is certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association. In Echo's free time he enjoys swimming, running, playing ball and wrestling with his handler.
K9 Brando is an 8-year-old German shepherd. He is partnered with Officer David Zacchia of the Swissvale Police Department. Brando is also a dual purpose narcotics and patrol K9 certified through North American Police Work Dog Association. He and his handler have been a team since 2009. He was purchased through grants from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and local donations. Brando has assisted many local police departments in the area with the apprehension of suspects as well as detecting illegal narcotics. On his days off, he likes to play ball, lay around and likes to be spoiled at times.
How you can help:
By donating to this fundraiser, you help provide funding to buy both of these K9 officers brand new, modern protective vests to keep them safe in the line of duty. You will be helping protect a selfless animal and officer, a servant to a local community, and a friend and family member to the officers they live to protect. Protective vests have saved the lives of more than 3,000 police officers in the last 30 years, according to the National Institute of Justice. Let’s provide vests to keep the animals who serve alongside them safe as well.