RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — All this week, Good Morning Richmond is featuring people or groups that go above and beyond in the community.
Jeff Merten is the President for the Friends of Richmond K-9 board, a group of volunteers dedicated to helping Richmond Police Department’s K-9 unit.
The non-profit organization was created in 2010 when the K-9 unit budget was working with low resources out of a worn out building.
“The building was 1950’s cinder block building,” Merten said. “You know the outdoor kennels for we the dogs were not efficient and we really wanted to get in and help them get a new building, supplies, and money they needed for training that just wasn’t in the budget.”
Together the Friends of Richmond K-9 board and their junior board called on city council and state officials to help fund the resources the unit needed to succeed.
The organization was able to build a $1.2 million facility with indoor and outdoor kennels, a fully equipped washroom, and an outdoor training course.
“It makes us a better unit,” RPD Sgt. Michael Bohannon said. “Whatever we need and whatever the dogs need it’s like it’s instant when we ask him for something it’s like let’s make it happen right now and if we already don’t have the means of making it happen then it’s how are we going to make it happen.”
Merten now in charge of day to day operations at the new facility said it’s all about helping the dogs and their brothers in blue.
“It’s just amazing what they all do on a daily basis for us,” Merten said, “24/7 they’re always on call you know they never know what their day is going to be like, we’ve seen things in Richmond recently, you know what they have to drop and go do when things happen and its just amazing.”