Local nonprofit raises money for K9 police
Mary Bunnell and the ‘Coins for K9s’ team have raised over $ 7,000 and are now looking to provide a suit for the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office
AUBURN, Maine – An Auburn woman is on a mission to support as many K9 police officers as possible. For months now, Mary Bunnell has been collecting bottles, cans and other donations to purchase equipment and other items for law enforcement K9 units in Maine.
“Anything we can give the K9s and their managers to make their jobs easier,” Bunnell said.
She started out by fundraising to purchase medical kits for 30 K9 in Maine. Since achieving this goal, she has officially launched the non-profit association “Coins for K9s” and hopes to raise even more for the animals.
“They’re tracking missing children, dementia patients who may have gone astray, people lost or missing, so we’re not just chasing criminals,” Deputy Vic Barr of the County Sheriff’s Office said. Androscoggin. Deputy Barr is the manager of a K9 named Sampson.
“The K-9 programs are extremely expensive for the agencies. They definitely budget for every need, and the dogs are very well looked after, all the medical bills, the best vet care, the best food, but sometimes some equipment and things like us. we need just isn’t there, ”Barr said.
On Sunday, Barr, Bunnell and others were at 84 Court Pizza in Auburn looking to raise funds to purchase a new bite costume for Barr’s training group, as well as Guardian Angels, who are lights that can be used by officers to stay better lit during the evening hours.
“It’s an amazing feeling to give back. They are there for me, and they are there for this community, so it’s the least I can give them back,” Bunnell said.
Since he started collecting cans and bottles for the program in October, Bunnell has been able to raise over $ 7,000.
“These organizations are really important and help us with some of these things,” Barr said.
Bunnell says that on Sunday alone, she and her team were able to raise over $ 1,700 for the cause.
“They really do a lot of work for us, and I’m just trying to shed some light on the K9s and the good job they do,” Bunnell said.
Coins for K9s hosted raffles on Sunday as well as local community businesses.
In addition to the Sunday fundraising event, Coins for K9s also donated a handmade wooden flag in honor of K9 Moxie, who served with the Lisbon Police Department. His master, Agent Jason St. Pierre, received the gift.