NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Students at one school in Newport News are fundraising for four-legged heroes.
Hidenwood Elementary is helping raise money for retired police K9s through a program called "Pennies for Puppies."
The program helps retired Newport News Police K9s like "Havoc" who retired last year after 12 years of service. He was Officer Jeff Wright's partner the entire time. Now his only title is man's best friend.
"When you have a city dog, the city actually pays for everything: vet bills, food, things like that," MPO Wright explained. "Once you pay that dollar once they retire, the city pays for nothing else."
Wright purchased Havoc from the city last summer for $1 but the vet bills can be costly. Students at Hidenwood Elementary recognize that and believe officers like Wright shouldn't have to worry about the cost.
"Our goal is to make sure that no handler has to make a tough decision and that funding is available to take their best friend home with them when it's time to retire," said Amanda Wroten, the executive director of the Newport News Police Foundation.
Students, parents and teachers at Hidenwood are raising money for dogs like Havoc through "Pennies for Puppies." Last year, students raised enough pennies to donate $250 to the program.
"It provides funding for the dogs once they retire, for all their health care needs," Wroten said. "Every single penny adds up. The $250 that Hidenwood raised last year, we still have that left from K9 Havoc and his ear infection. So he still has money sitting in the account from that one donation."
Donations are now helping Havoc live out a healthy life and teaching students that a little spare change goes a long way for a four-legged hero.
For more information: https://www.nnpolicefoundation.org/