More than 140 volunteers turned up in Norfolk, Virginia on Sunday morning as part of an effort to supply proper outdoor housing for the dogs in the Norfolk Police Department. Many of the volunteers even brought their own tools and equipment to help out with the effort, but it didn’t matter what their level of construction expertise was, all who came were welcomed to help.
“We’ve just been cutting the boards, drilling the pieces together, help finding different tools for people who know what they’re actually doing to accomplish their mission, encouraging them,” said Grace Rossignol, one of thevolunteers. “It’s been fun.”
The event took place at the police department’s kennels near the Norfolk airport, and the whole thing was organized by Spike’s K9 Fund. Spike’s is a charity organization that does whatever it can to assist working dogs all over the United States. They made a Facebook post that volunteers were needed, and their followers did not disappoint.
“We have more people than we know what to do with,” said James Hatch, founder of Spike’s K9 Fund. “It’s impressive to me and it’s really kind of humbling. Truthfully, it seems like as of late, there’s been a lot of negativity, divisiveness. And this just shows the real America, man. It’s awesome.”
All of the materials to build the houses were provided by a local building materials company. They used a specialized style of material called Trex. Trex is extra durable and will stand up to weather and the dogs chewing on them.
“These dogs are pretty tough and they will chew up the houses that were provided for them,” he said. “We’re just trying to put it together so they have really good stuff.”
The department is very thankful to the people that came out to help with the building effort. Volunteers also worked on a new obstacle course for training, and the much-needed houses will be of real benefit to both the human and the K9 officers on the team.
“Although our dog comes home with us every day because they’re our best friend and family member at this point, every once in a while, we’re training and things like that they need to stay here,” said Cpl. Jake Clark, a member of Norfolk’s K9 unit. “These houses are going to be able to house our dogs, give them a little bit more shelter, give them privacy, and as you can see, it’s going to keep them out of the elements and give them the security they need just like any other happy animal.”