SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There is a growing trend across the nation of communities rallying behind police K-9s.
This topic is close to the hearts of many in Hampton Roads after a Norfolk police dog was shot and killed in January.
K-9 Krijger attempted to apprehend an armed suspect during a standoff and the suspect, Keith Richardson, shot and killed the dog. An officer shot Richardson who later died at the hospital. In the wake of this tragedy, there is an ongoing effort to protect service animals, and WAVY talked with a 10-year-old girl who is on a mission to help.
Selene Parks is on a mission to make sure K-9s like Krijger have what they need in times of trouble. She wants to get a bronze medal with the Girl Scouts but her mission has bloomed into something even greater.
Parks is asking the community to donate supplies so she can create K-9 emergency kits for dogs who police our streets. She created an Amazon wish list with needed supplies like saline, gauze, ace bandages, gloves, waterproof tape and even syringes.
“These dogs mean a lot to me,” said Parks. “They are out catching people with guns and stuff. They could get hurt protecting us so we have to protect them.”
Parks says she has a love for dogs, and she grew up near a K-9 who has worked to serve the streets of Portsmouth for eight years. Tyro is now retired at 11 years old, but he spent years working with officer Brian Ingram patrolling the streets of Portsmouth.
“We’ve seen a lot together,” said Ingram. “Sometimes you find dogs that are better than people.”
Officer Ingram recalls an incident back in 2009, when two officers were shot on Campbell street in Portsmouth during a SWAT call out.
“I was close enough to one of the officers to render aid to him, but Tyro was with me, beside me, and there was gunfire going off,” said Ingram. “I looked over and he was there.”
Ingram says he looked into this dog’s eyes and felt a wave of comfort.
For the most part, cities fund necessities for police K-9s, including medical care. Officer Ingram says this girl’s mission to go the extra mile…shouldn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s very dangerous out there…more so than ever. So having a kit like that is peace of mind,” said Ingram.
Parks says she wants to make sure the dogs have everything they need to stay safe and continue protecting people.
“These dogs are our heroes,” said Parks. “We are using social media, family, friends and the wish list. We are doing flyers too. If we didn’t have these dogs, house fires would happen, houses would be burglarized.
Parks has received donations from people in Florida and even Texas. She says she is waiting until May to start packing the kits and distributing them to K-9s in the Hampton Roads area.
“You don’t need to be afraid of [K-9s] they are your friend,” said Parks. “I want to make as many kits as I can made.”
To view Selene’s wish list: CLICK HERE.