A few weeks ago I saw a Facebook post from a friend asking me to vote for the Memphis K-9 Unit in a nationwide contest. Because I am type A, I followed up on the contest, discovering that the top prize for this grant was $5000 and that there were endless applicants from K-9 units all over the country. It made me sort of sad and uncomfortable so I half heartedly said, “maybe if Memphis doesn’t win, we could start a fundraiser for them.” This led to a K-9 officer replying, “that would be great.” Busted. And gladly so because in the few weeks since that exchange, I’ve done some homework. I’m a dog lover and a Mempian who is extremely grateful for the police protection and police presence in Memphis. I’m well aware that police officers have extremely intense jobs, and that force-wide budget cuts made pay and benefits lower while workload became higher due to staff cuts. But that has all been one of those nebulous things I’ve known, with nothing specific or personal standing out so that I never paid it much attention. So here is my chance, and yours, to get educated and make this personal.
I got in touch with Lieutenant Beth Hyman, who runs the Memphis K-9 Unit. She said she constantly applies for grants, no matter how small, as a means of “patching the bleeding because no amount of help is too small.”
The Memphis Police K-9 Unit is located at 2060 Avery, as it has been since its onset in 1962. There are 15 K-9 officers and 18 total dogs. The list of needs is long but Lt. Hyman was kind enough to list some specific needs on her wish list once I asked. There was no complaining and no feeling sorry for the unit, there was only a very matter of fact accounting of the serious needs of the K-9 unit. When I heard things like, “K-9 Resuscitator Kits,” “K-9 Trauma Bleed Kit,” and “Bite Suits” for training, this nebulous thing I’d know about started coming into focus and became real.
I’m going to include the wish list with price quotes that Lt. Hyman sent me so this might become real for all of us. I would ask you all not only to contribute but to share this campaign. I’ll give updates when appropriate but what I’m hoping is that we contributors can offer the sum total of our group effort fundraiser as a Christmas gift to the K-9 Unit.
I thought I would put $5000 as the goal, since that was the amount of the first prize of the grant that got my wheels in motion but when my attorney husband looked over the wish list, he said, “$100,000, and raise it if it takes off.” Never argue with an attorney if you want to get anything else done. And this time, I agreed with him.
Please help satisfy these wishes:
1. Bullet resistant vest carriers, 20 @$200 each
2. Competition bite suit, 1, $1500
3. Bite sleeves, 10 @ $170 each
4. In-car water bowls, 20 @ $30 each
5. E-collars, 4 @ $400 each
6. Ballistic canine vests, 20 @ $450 each
7. K-9 resuscitator kits, 20 @ $290 each
8. K-9 trauma bleed kit, 20 @ $20 each
9. Stainless steel buckets, 20 @ $40 each
10. Stainless steel bowls, 20 @ $9 each
11. Canine ear protectors (Mutt Ruffs), 20 @ $50 each
12. Canine goggles (eye protection), 20 @ $24 each
13. Canine swim vest, 20 @ $$90 each
14. Bite suit carrying bag, 1, $40
15. Hidden leather bite sleeve, 1, $160
16. Syntek hidden sleeve (protection), 1, $150
17. Soft Syntek hidden sleeve, 1, $150
18. Low profile hidden sleeve, 1, $180
19. Neoprene sleeve gauntlet, 6 @ $80 each
20. Protective canine boots (broken glass, etc), 20 @ $31 each
21. De-shedding brushes, 20 @ $40 each
22. Obstacle course, 1, $20,000
and the biggest ticket item....
23. Two story multi room training building with inside arena to train and perform demos, large classrooms, 6 training rooms, 10 kennels, Kitchen/breakroom...$250,000.
Well? Can we help?
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