When 10-year-old Brady Snakovsky found out police dogs don’t automatically get issued bulletproof vests, he knew right then that he had to do something about it.
He had been watching a show with his family almost two years ago when he noticed the K-9 wasn’t as protected as its handler.
“We were watching the show together and I didn’t even notice that the dog wasn’t wearing a vest,” Leah Tornabene, Brady’s mom, told CNN.
“I was quite surprised that a child at age eight could recognize that there was an issue there, and that he could find a solution to fix that problem. It made me very proud to see him doing this,” she added.
The observation sparked the start of Brady’s K9 Fund, a nonprofit that raises money to supply bulletproof vests to police and military dogs. He created a GoFundMe page, which allowed him to buy the first four vests.
So far, Brady has supplied over 257 dogs with vests and has raised over US$315,000. He has supplied vests for dogs in 23 states and in Canada. He’s also supplied vests for military dogs in Afghanistan.
Tornabene said that most people don’t realize that the police forces that have K-9 units have to rely on the help of donations, so every dollar matters. The handlers reach out to Brady by word of mouth or via his website.
“K-9 Benny (is my favorite) because his handler was so thankful he started crying,” Brady said, adding that he’s become good friends with Benny’s handler.
Recently, Brady also ventured into a new local project. He created a dog park in Brunswick, Ohio, near his hometown, which is closed one day a week to allow police dogs a space to train with their handlers.
Brady has found out that police dogs are often in need of a place to practice and do their required monthly training, so he decided to provide one.
With the help of members of his community, they restored a park that was in need of some love and added dog-agility equipment for training purposes. Brady said he hopes to help as many police dogs as he can through the park and his nonprofit.
“I like seeing the smile on the handler’s face,” he said.
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.