Fundraiser helps raise money for county K9 program
|Steve Holiday and narcotics dog Abby attend a fundraiser to start a K9 unit in Lassen County. Holiday is from Vigilant Canine Services International in Red Bluff and the agency will be providing the dog. See more pictures inside story|
Treats Dog Company owner Monte Kielty hosted the event at his store Sunday, July 29 and said it received a good response.
“And everybody (who) was here was enthusiastic about getting a K9 program established here. People are really positive about it,” he said.For the fundraiser, customers could bring their dogs in to wash and dry for $16 and 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to the Lassen County Canine Association.
LCSO deputy Brandon Vinson, who will be the K9 handler, along with a team including family and law enforcement officers, also washed cars in the parking lot.
According to Kielty, $13,000 is needed to get the dog, outfit the vehicle and pay for officer training. With the help of donations and fundraisers, $7,000 is now needed and Kielty said it can take a lot of little donations to help meet the goal.
Left, Betty Carroll , left, and Linda Bailey, a pet groomer with Treats Dog Company, wash Carroll’s dog Whiskers, during a Sunday, July 29 fundraiser.All proceeds from the $16 pet wash were given to the Lassen Canine Association for a K9 program in Lassen County.
Right, Brandon Vinson, a deputy with the Lassen County Sheriff’s office, washes a vehicle during a fundraiser to start a K9 program in Lassen County.
After hearing there wasn’t a K9 program in the area, Kielty began working with the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) to start such a program several years ago.
Donations can still be made and are accepted at Treats Dog Company in the Sierra Shopping Center and at the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office at 1415 Sheriff Cady Lane.
Kielty said if customers come in through the month of August to wash their dog, they can choose to donate the money to the association.
During the recent fundraiser, people had the opportunity to meet Abby, a narcotics dog and her handler, Steve Holiday, of Vigilant Canine Services International (VCSi) out of Red Bluff. VCSi will be providing the dog for Lassen County’s program.
Holiday said Vinson will choose the dog and keep it for a month so they can bond before the two will attend a five-week training program.
According to vigilantcanine.com,VCSiis the “premier K9 services provider for law enforcement.” It is based in the United States, but has operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa and the Philippines. In addition, the local effortsto start a K9 program, caught the attention of a Bay Area nonprofit that has offered to help.
Louise Tully, vice president for the Police and Working K-9 Foundation, contacted Vinson in an email to notify him the organization was going to donate a custom-fit ballistic vest that also includes a stab-resistant panel and a rappel harness. The foundation is also donating a special heat sensor to keep the dog safe and cool in the patrol car.
According to Tully, a deputy may leave the dog inside the vehicle with the air conditioning running, but an alarm will notify the deputy if the temperature starts rising in the vehicle.
“It’s a danger to not have a heat alarm and be on patrol,” Tully said.
For more information about the organization, visit coveryour k9.org.
The fundraiser also generated donations from local businesses.
Justin Miller, of JCharles Photography, documented the event, Susanville IGA provided drinks and ice andSafeway donated drinks, ice and cookies. Billington Ace Hardware provided the car wash supplies.
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