WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The four-legged members of area police forces got some love on Saturday in two separate events across town.
Two fundraisers were put on by different groups but ultimately the money goes to the dogs.
On the east side, a fundraiser dinner held at the Wichita Candle Club was put on for The Four Legged Project, a non-profit group who seeks to purchase ballistic vests for K-9 officer dogs.
“So the scary thing is, in the past 5 years over 30 K-9s have died in the line of duty, either through gunshots or stab wounds,” Nikki Woodrow, president of the Four Legged Project, said Saturday.
Cargill donated meat for the meals and the Wichita Wagonmasters grilled it for Candle Club members, so as much money as possible could go directly to the cause.
Woodrow says the vest cost $1,275 apiece. The organization has vested 35 dogs since its inception two years ago.
“We’re hoping to really work on vesting the nine on the waiting list then we’re looking at officers who need vests as well,” Woodrow said.
She encourages officers interested in a free, fitted ballistic vest for their K-9s to fill out the application online. Click here for the link.
All K-9 officers at the Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office are vested, with the exception of the new dog coming following the line of duty death of K-9 officer Rooster in March.
On the west side of town, the Animal Hospital at Auburn Hills hosted a WPD K-9 appreciation event.
Dr. Gary Stamps and crew gave tours of their clinic as well as providing food free to those who wanted to come by just to say “thanks” to WPD K-9 officers Kilo and Nash, as well as their handlers. Stamps provides veterinarian care to Nash at no cost to the Wichita Police Department.
“The budget to dollars are just not necessarily there for every part of what’s needed to provide care for them so we consider it a total privilege to provide care for Nash,” Dr. Stamps said.
Dozens of people came by to see the dogs up close and personal, with officers even performing some demonstrations. Nash pinpointed some drugs in the back of a pickup truck, placed there by WPD officers.
“That’s what today’s all about, is trying to bless them and provide funds and awareness for what they do,” Dr. Stamps said.
Dr. Stamps’ office reports a couple thousand dollars were raised at the event.