9-year-old boy starts GoFundMe, raises nearly $80K to buy bulletproof vests for police dogs
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - Brady Snakovsky, a 9-year-old from Ohio, loves to watch police shows, but when he noticed many of the K-9 officers on TV weren't wearing bulletproof vests, the animal lover and concerned citizen decided to leap into action and raise money to change that.
Brady's parents said that while watching one of his favorite shows, "Live PD," he felt concerned that many of the dogs were not wearing bulletproof vests along with their human partners.
"Once I told Brady that they were not automatically issued a vest like their human partner he decided he wanted to buy a vest for a K-9 who didn't have one," says Leah Tornabene, Brady's mom.
Brady knew something had to be done, so he asked if they could purchase a vest, but after his mom had explained that ballistic vests cost up to $1,000, they decided to start a GoFundMe, and a true grassroots campaign was born.
According to the GoFundMe page, Brady began spreading the word of his mission to his local community, visiting events and giving talks, even selling candy to raise money on his own. While he gained traction in his own neighborhood, he knew it was not enough.
With the help of his mom, Brady went on to write to his local congressional representative and continued to spread the message to anyone he could with a simple and earnest mission: protecting police dogs.
In case you haven't noticed, Brady has a real passion for law-enforcement, especially the four-legged kind.
The GoFundMe says that Brady has always dreamed of being a police officer like his stepdad, and likes to dress up as an officer or state trooper and ride around in his toy patrol car with his siblings for fun.
"Ultimately, Brady hopes to ensure that all police dogs everywhere have their own vests and get the protection they deserve. With donors' help, he's starting to make that dream come true -- one dog at a time," says the GoFundMe page.
Tornabene explained that the vests they donate are made so the K-9 officer can wear it for the entire shift, and not just in dangerous situations.
"When we hand one out it's great to know that's one less K-9 hitting the streets unprotected," said Tornabene
The GoFundMe started in January 2018, and has since raised $77,013. So far, Brady's fund has provided 85 vests across 12 different states and currently has a waiting list of 58 police officers who are eager to receive the ballistic vests for their canine companions.