A few days after a Norfolk, Virginia police dog lost his life in a standoff, Anderson Cooper made a generous donation to help pup’s in future volatile situations.
K9 Krijger was shot and killed after he was sent into a home where a man was barricaded inside with a gun.
The NPD shared a post in the dog’s honor last week (January 15), writing, “It is with heavy hearts we announce the loss of a loyal and dedicated member of the Norfolk Police Department… He served NPD for three years and faithfully gave his life to protect ours. Rest in peace, Krijger. Your work is done, but never forgotten.”
After seeing a post about the incident, Cooper teamed up with retired Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch and his organization, Spike’s K-9 Fund, which was created in Krijger’s honor. Hatch volunteers with the police department and trains officers how to work with the K-9 unit. He learned many skills while working with the dogs in combat zones overseas.
While volunteering at the NPD, Hatch had the opportunity to work with Krijger and said, “My heart is broken for Krijger’s handler. Among dogs, he stood out.”
His organization raises money to provide military-style dog vests for the Norfolk Police Department. According to sources familiar with the deadly incident, Krijger would have survived the shooting last week (January 11) if he was wearing one of these vests.
According to the Virginian Pilot, Anderson interviewed Hatch in 2015 about a 2009 mission where he was wounded during a rescue effort in Afghanistan. After seeing Hatch’s post about Krijger, Cooper decided to donate his speaking fee from an upcoming lecture to Spike’s K-9 Fund.
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) January 12, 2016
According to reports, the CNN anchor donated enough money to suit-up the entire NPD’s K-9 unit with ballistic vests. Each of the vests costs approximately $2,200 and there are 18 dogs in the unit. Hatch told press that Cooper’s donation also leaves enough money to provide vests to the other Hampton Roads-based K-9 units. Hatch told press that Cooper “wasn’t keen on me publicizing his donation, but I told him I was going to do it anyway. He’s such a good dude. And genuine.”
The NPD shared their thanks on Facebook, writing, “A special ‘THANKS’ to CNN‘s Anderson Cooper 360 for his generous donation to the Norfolk-based charity, Spike’s K9 Fund, to help NPD outfit our four legged heroes with ballistic vests… We have received an overwhelming outpouring of support from thousands of people from across the globe. We are humbled by your gracious words of support and encouragement. Thank you!”