The following is a press release that’s been distributed to news media in South New Jersey to announce the kickoff of Operation: K-9 Protection, a new program that we, at Big Barker, are really excited about. Our mission is to get a Big Barker bed for every K-9 officer dog in the United States by 2021.
It’s a big goal, and it starts today with the hero dogs in Atlantic City!
Big Barker Collaborates With Atlantic City Police Foundation To Benefit K-9 Police Dogs
Atlantic City Police Foundation Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Ease Joint Pain of K-9 Police Dogs
(Press Release) Men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for their communities on a daily basis. So too, do their K-9 police dog counterparts. On any given day a K-9 “officer” will ride in a patrol car, sniff for explosives, chase down and tackle suspects. K-9 dogs regularly face dangerous situations and are willing to lay down their lives for the community and for their handler.
At the end of the day, police dogs are exhausted and sore and want nothing more than a hearty meal and a comfortable bed. In order to better serve the Atlantic City K-9 officers, the Atlantic City Police Foundation is partnering with Big Barker to launch a unique crowdfunding campaign to give a Big Barker bed to every dog on the Atlantic City Police Department – both those in active duty and the retired K-9s. This fundraising campaign is the first in an ongoing series of campaigns that Big Barker plans to co-launch with police departments across the country, in an effort to service every K-9 Police Dog in the United States by the end of 2021.
Eric Shannon, president of Big Barker, has created a bed specifically engineered for big dogs that are prone to painful joint conditions like canine arthritis or hip and elbow dysplasia. “Our goal is to provide Big Barker beds for all active and retired K-9 police dogs in the United States. Through this program we can help keep our animal-officers in peak physical condition while in active duty while providing the necessary support they require in their retirement years” says Eric.
By nature, a dog’s instinct for survival means they will hide their pain, so dog owners rarely know when a dog’s joints are hurting. In the wild, dogs that show signs of weakness are prone to attacks from within the pack or from rival dogs. With K-9 police dogs, because of their breeds and the grueling lifestyle they lead in the line of duty, many K-9 dogs can suffer from joint conditions ranging from constant aches to painful crippling. More than 65% of all German Shepherds, which make up the majority of K-9 units, will develop canine arthritis; 19% develop hip dysplasia and 18% suffer elbow dysplasia.
Lt. James Sarkos, Vice Chairman of the Atlantic City Police Foundation, is leading the coordinating efforts between Big Barker and the Atlantic City Police Foundation. “The Atlantic City Police Foundation is proud to partner with Big Barker on this initiative, it feels great to help ensure that K-9’s both active and retired who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the men and women of the Atlantic City Police Department are well taken care of when they go home for a well-deserved night’s rest.”
Eric Shannon explains why this program is so important and why Big Barker is beginning Operation K-9 Protection with Atlantic City: “K9 dogs don’t just touch the lives of the officer handlers and their families, they protect the well-being of thousands of us by keeping dangerous people, weapons and substances off the street. Big Barker’s Operation K-9 Protection Program will give proactive police departments around the country a chance to show appreciation for their animal-officers by providing their hard-working dogs with protection against the harmful joint conditions that most K-9 dogs eventually develop. Lt. Sarkos and the Atlantic City Police Foundation have been tremendously supportive of our cause from day one, and we’re thrilled to begin our nation-wide Operation K-9 Protection Program with such a dedicated K-9 division in the Atlantic City Police Department”.
Email Eric Shannon of Big Barker at Eric@BigBarker.com or call (215) 645-2306
To reach the police officer in charge, email JSarkos@acpolice.org or call (609) 517-1056
The online fundraiser will end January 15, 2016
About The Atlantic City Police Foundation: The Atlantic City Police Foundation was established by current and former police officers as well as business and civic leaders as an independent, non-profit organization to improve public safety in Atlantic City by assisting the City of Atlantic City and The Atlantic City Police Department in funding for worthwhile police programs, initiatives, training and equipment that would otherwise not be feasible under the City budget. The majority of the ACPD’s annual budget goes to pay personnel salary. The Police Foundation will support programs designed to allow the ACPD to become pioneers and innovators in the rapidly evolving areas of technology, strategies and training by providing resources that are not readily available through other means.
About Big Barker: Eric Shannon started Big Barker, a Pennsylvania-based company, in 2012 because his previous business experience taught him that almost all pet store dog beds flattened like pancakes under the weight of a heavy dog. Eric solved that problem by using premium quality foam, Made-In-America craftsmanship, and offering a rock solid 10-year warranty. Why quality beds matter: If you’ve ever had a big dog who’s gotten older, you know how heartbreaking it is when their bodies stop keeping up with their minds. On the inside, they’re feeling pain and soreness from the arthritis or dysplasia that most big dogs develop. But on the outside, they’re the same happy dog who wants nothing more than to please you. They’ll trot alongside you all day long, even as each step triggers another ache, because they’d rather die than let you down. This is why people buy Big Barker beds. Because after all the love and joy we’ve received from our dogs, this is a way to show our gratitude by taking the stress off those big heavy pressure points as they rest.