- Michael D. Pitman Staff Writer
Nearly 1,900 police dogs around the world have a life-saving first aid kit from Georgia-based We Ride to Provide.
That includes for the three police dogs with the city of Fairfield: K-9 officers Canaan, Koda and Scout. The units collectively respond to thousands of calls a year, from traffic stops to tracking suspects or missing persons.
“To have this equipment readily available, it places a lot of comfort in the handlers,” said Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey.
These specialized kits have been sent to K-9 officers in all but three states, and in seven countries. They include what is likely included in most first-aid kits in a police cruiser, like triple antibiotic ointment and ice pack, but most of it is specific for saving a dog’s life, said We Ride to Provide founder and president Holly Cripps. She assembles each kit.
The first K-9 officer saved with one of the kits was Officer Orion out of Oconee County, Georgia was bit by a poisonous snake in August 2013. Since then, 10 K-9 officers — and two handlers — have been saved and dozens more K-9 officers have been treated with the kit that costs $99.
“These kits treat literally anything from bee stings to gunshot wounds,” Cripps said. Recently, K-9 Officer Tess in Washington County, Utah, was shot twice and the kit, which was in the officer’s car for two years, was attributed to saving the animal’s life, she said.
Fairfield’s three kits were paid for by Performance Foodservice-Ellenbee on Port Union Road, and was prompted by the company’s customer service employee Diane Wagers. She said she and her husband have “made it our personal goal to help every K-9 in the area receive a first aid kit if they wish to have one.”
Dickey said the donation “speaks to the partnership and the respect the businesses have for first responders, including our K-9 teams.
“It’s nice to have that specialized equipment, but it really demonstrates the support the business community and residents provide to the Fairfield Police Department and first responders everywhere,” he said.