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Bay Area Pet Stores Holding K-9 Unit Fundraisers

August 01, 2010

San Francisco CBS 5/KCBS

If you’ve been procrastinating on giving your dog a bath, this weekend might be a good time to get it done.

The bathing kiosks at all 34 Bay Area Pet Food Express stores will be busy as they hold a special fundraising drive.

Proceeds from the dog-washing operations will go to help pay for bulletproof vests for police dogs.

Pet Food Express Founder and President Michael Levy said they started the program last year and it was a huge success.

“Last year, we raised over $71,000 over a weekend, primarily to get the police K-9s bulletproof vests,” he said. “Most of them at the time did not have them and now there’s a larger number that do. But there’s still many that need their vests.”

Levy said there’s an extra need this year because police departments all over the region are struggling with budget cuts.

San Francisco K-9 officer Robert Byrnes said keeping the dogs in blue as safe as can be is a top priority.

“We understand what can happen. But we also at the same time want to protect them and give them the protection that they deserve when they’re out there doing the job for us,” said Byrnes.

He said many of the handlers take the dogs home with them, so they’re not just partners on the job. They’re loving pets after the shift is over.

Levy said the program is simple. Just head to the nearest Pet Food Express location, pay $15 for a dog-washing token and they’ll take care of the rest.

By Lisa Cilli

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