Dogs are inherently loyal to their owners, but that devotion takes on a different meaning when their handlers happen to be police officers. Police dogs, or K-9s, are highly trained animals tasked with following orders ranging from drug investigations to ferreting out potentially dangerous suspects from hiding places. Some wind up being fatally wounded in the process. In 2018, at least 19 dogs died in the line of duty nationwide.
Since part of that danger comes from armed suspects, some K-9 units use bulletproof vests on their canine staff members. But the vests, which average $1200, don't always fit into a department's budget. That's where Brady Snakovsky comes in. Through his GoFundMe page, the 9-year-old from Strongsville, Ohio has managed to collect funds for 85 vests (and counting!) for active-duty dogs.
Snakovsky came upon the idea after watching Live PD, a reality series on the A&E network that depicts police patrol units across the country. Snakovsky noticed one of the K-9 dogs featured on the show wasn't wearing a protective vest. With the assistance of his mother, Snakovsky started the GoFundMe to raise money for the vests. The equipment is sourced from a distributor, Line of Fire Defence, that provides a vest design that helps regulate the dog's body temperature and reduces the chances of the animal getting overheated.
His fundraising effort, Brady's K9 Fund, is looking to raise $85,000 total. As of this week, it's exceeded $77,000. Even if his financial goal is met, Snakovsky probably isn't done with law enforcement. The third-grader has said he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.