In between reports of lies and other offensive jackassery in the political season, a bunch of good Americans gathered at a small grassy spot in the great American city of Cincinnati, Ohio to celebrate goodness. This past weekend, we held our first “Vest-Fest” event. Our Midwestern Director and all around “volunteer ninja,” Jill Cutter, with the help of Jason “The Wolf” Lewis, set up a great event to recognize the donors and recipients of K9 ballistic vests in Cincinnati and it’s surrounding counties. It was a rare occasion. We had over 8 working K9’s in attendance. We had some of our family and corporate donors in attendance. We had the band Ithika play some great music. We had prizes and games and swag sales and food and drinks and a great time. Here is a small video of the event put together by Ryan D’Souza. It was a refreshing affirmation of the goodness in our country. Police Officers and their K9’s, who have crazy duty schedules made time to be with us. Donors flew in from Massachusettes and drove in from all over the state of Ohio and elsewhere. It was a great time and left me feeling extremely grateful to be an American. The generosity and kindness of the donors and volunteers, and the sacrifice of our first responders, both human and K9, provided a moving tribute to the nation we call home.
Ashley rowed 300 miles to raise funds for us to help the Virginia State Police K9’s. It took her a week doing over 45 a day. Yes, 45 miles or more per day.
She did this while being a business owner, a mother, and wife.
She held an event; “Camp Valor” at her gym, American Sled Dogs to cap off the week’s efforts.
She hosted us and invited local law enforcement K9’s to do a demonstration for her loyal crew of supporters and athletes.
Ashley Horner is an incredible human.
We are grateful to her and her crew. Please check them out on Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks to your generosity, we achieved our goal of getting the Cincinnati Police K9 unit outfitted with the proper equipment. We, with the help of our donors, purchased 12 custom-fit K9 Storm ballistic SWAT vests for the K9’s who are exposed to violent encounters. We also purchased 6 K9 Storm tracking harness’ for the remaining K9’s who do not do patrol work.
This is no small thing, but we will not be resting on our laurels. We will continue to help K9’s in the surrounding counties and K9’s from other areas as we can.
This is our mission, and because of the generosity of some very kind people, we have achieved another minor milestone.
One of my favorite sayings is: “After all was said and done, more was said, than done.”
So I’m going to keep this short.
Lean in friends, we have a lot more work to do.
With your generosity, Spike’s K9 Fund provided 65 ballistic vests to the working K9’s of Hampton Roads, Virginia. We have moved to a new objective in the “K9 Krijger Campaign.” The Police K9’s of Cincinnati, Ohio. They have 12 K9’s who need ballistic protection and we, again with your generosity, have provided 4 of them. Thus “8.” If you, your family, your business, or your team wish to sponsor a vest you can go to the link provided right there and make a donation of $2500.00 and we will put it to work asap. If you do that, we will have the vest embroidered with “Generously Donated By _______”
Like the one in the photo below.
So there it is, 65+12=8. We need help to finish our objective and I need help with math.
We are grateful for all of the love and support we’ve received.
On January 11th, 2016 “K9 Krijger” of the Norfolk Police Department was killed in the line of duty.
Shortly thereafter, we created the “K9 Krijger Campaign” which was established to raise funds specifically for ballistic vests and we set a goal for our organization to provide all working K9’s in Hampton Roads with those vests as soon as possible.
Today, because of your generosity, we have completed that mission.
Spike’s K9 Fund and a number of other organizations have provided 68 Ballistic Vests to the K9’s of Hampton Roads. Of that 68 vests, Spike’s K9 Fund provided 63. The last 3 vests were ordered today.
We are humbled by the support we’ve been shown on this mission.
We are grateful for the kindness and generosity we have been a witness to during this campaign.
We will continue to work diligently to protect as many working K9’s as possible.
K9 Krijger will not be forgotten. Every ballistic vest we provide is embroidered with his service #. “K-148”
Sometimes I get to meet real heroes. “Connor” is one of them
So we were again given a huge amount of exposure when Anderson Cooper chose to play celebrity Jeopardy, and represent Spike’s K9 Fund. Anderson didn’t win, but if he had, we would have received $50,000.00. He still earned us $10,000.00- but after the taping of the show, he walked up and apologized for not winning and then told me he’d make up for the $40k that we would have received. So we won. Bottom line. And it is because of the generosity of Anderson Cooper.
Additionally, I think you should know that since our first K9 was helped in October of 2014, your generosity has helped over 110 working or retired working K9’s. Your donations have purchased wheel chairs for injured working K9’s, surgeries for working and retired K9’s, training and communications equipment, Ballistic Vests for those K9’s that work in a violent environment, and non-ballistic vests to help the K9’s whose work doesn’t put them in harms way. Your generosity has helped Police, Military and retired K9’s from both vocations. Your generosity has helped over a dozen Search and Rescue K9’s with tracking and communications equipment. You have accomplished quite a bit.
We are grateful that you choose us as stewards for your generosity. It makes me feel good knowing that I’m part of an organization that helps the K9’s who’ve saved my life, and who save the lives of many others on a regular basis.
On the 22nd of April, 2016, we here at Spike’s K9 Fund were able to hand out 35 Ballistic Tactical K9 Vests to multiple police departments in our area. Watching these K9’s leave with some serious protection was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. Check out some of the local coverage here and here.
The best part about this experience is that none of this would be possible without the involvement of many, many people. From those who donated, including Mr. Anderson Cooper, who made a very significant donation, to the owners of Bold Mariner Brewing Company, which hosted the event, and the seriously committed volunteers who helped set up, sell swag, take photos, clean up and make sure everyone (K9 and Human) got what they needed.
Nothing gets done without these people. Nothing.
I am extremely grateful to the local citizens who took time on their Friday to come meet some of the Law Enforcement Professionals and their K9’s.
I am extremely grateful to the Police Officers, some who’d been own duty all night, who came to take part and help out.
This whole thing is part of a bigger picture that has been painted on my mental canvas. It is truly difficult to be cynical when you have seen what I have seen over the last year or so. People are amazing. Most people are genuinely good. I have been witness to some very significant generosity. $25 is a lot of money to most of the people who donate to us and yet they continue to donate. I have seen people dive in and help us with this or that project just because they want to help.
They don’t get paid.
They could be spending their time on many other important things, but they choose to help us.
It is incredible to see and I am seriously grateful.
See you in August at the “Carcasstossing for K9’s!”
Let’s see what we can do with the rest of 2016……….
Spike’s K9 Fund Press Release
On January 11th, K-9 Krijger of the Norfolk Police Department was shot and killed when a domestic dispute escalated into an armed standoff with police. Krijger is not alone – for several years, police dog fatalities have increased sharply, including 11 deaths this year alone.
Spike’s K9 Fund was created to combat this exact problem. Launched by James Hatch, a retired SEAL and K-9 handler, Spike’s K9 Fund provides additional protective equipment and training to keep these incredible dogs safe.
Thanks to contributions from our supporters, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who generously donated a recent speaking fee after hearing of Krijger’s death, our organization was able to purchase new ballistic vests to help over 40 local police dogs.
Now, we are excited to announce the arrival of these custom fitted vests and we invite the public to join us as we distribute them on Friday, April 22nd.
The event will be held from 10:30am-6:00pm at the veteran-owned Bold Mariner Brewery and representatives from the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, and Chesapeake Police Departments will be in attendance.
Please come and show your support, meet your local law enforcement and K-9’s, and help us keep these incredible dogs safe as they continue to do important, lifesaving work.
Contact: James Hatch
Last weekend, 11-12-13 March, we were hosted by our “Ohio Crew” in Cincinnati. We were able to have dinner with a bunch of friends, attend the St. Patricks Day parade, with our friend Airport K9, and then attend and be recognized at a Cincinnati Cyclones Hockey game. It was epic. We were on the channel 12 news and we were fortunate to meet a ton of people at the parade.
We are very #fortunate ——-