PUPDATE 02/27/2017: Since the initial publication of this article Hero K9 has successfully made three equipment donations to three separate agencies!
In November, 2016 they donated a Multi-threat Vest to K9 Wish, the only Accelerant Detection dog in the great state of Minnesota! K9 Wish works with the Cloquet Area Fire District.
In 2017 they have donated an In-Squad Kennel and Door Pop + Heat Alarm System to K9 Rizzo of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa, and a Multi-threat Vest to K9 Drago of the Eveleth Police Department in Minnesota.
High paws to the pups and hoomans of Hero K9!
Ask any member of the armed services and they’ll tell you that proper equipment is essential to the success of their mission. And guess what? That goes for K9s too.
That’s why Kriscel Estrella founded Hero K9, a non-profit initiative which intends to bridge the gap between K9 equipment needs and K9 equipment funding.
Dogs are earning a more valued and treasured place in our society every day. Not just in our homes, hospitals, and schools, but in the streets and abroad.
K9s and their keen senses have quickly become staples of law enforcement and military, capable of performing tasks human police or soldiers could not perform.
The mission of Hero K9 is to see that every dog working to protect and serve is likewise protected.
“We hope to shed light on the amazing dedication, commitment, and service that our public safety professionals and their K9 partners provide,” Kriscel told BarkPost. She also stressed a “great need for funding” to ensure that K9s across the U.S. have the tools they need for their trade. “That’s where we come in,” she said.
As a member of the law enforcement community, Kriscel knew from experience that proper equipment for K9s and their handlers can make all the difference. She also learned of the obstacles that can prevent police departments from receiving the funding for such equipment. According to Kriscel, that knowledge alone “made this effort something I just had to do.”
Currently, Hero K9 offers grants for ballistic vests for K9s, as well as in-squad kennels and door pop & heat alarm systems. (They’re also accepting donations from concerned citizens. 🙂 ) By offering a variety of equipment grants, Hero K9 hopes to be able to cater to the unique needs of whichever department applies for a grant.
“It allows the agency to prioritize their needs within our offerings and helps us to make sure we’re serving them in the way they need most,” Kriscel told BarkPost.
“We’re on a mission,” she said, “to minimize the barriers for public agencies to acquire needed equipment, training, and K9s to serve their communities.”
And we all sincerely wish Hero K9 success in their mission!
Interested in lending a paw? Hero K9 accepts donations online! OR! If you find yourself in the Twin Cities of Minnesota this weekend, Hero K9 will host their first fundraiser on Sept. 25, 2016, from 11am to 3pm at 247 Snelling Ave. in St. Paul, MN.