Some K9 units in Pennsylvania’s Dauphin County will be sleeping a bit more comfortable now. On November 30, Big Barker, a company that makes dog beds, donated 23 dog beds to area officers and their K9s.
“One of Big Barker’s missions is to improve the lives of dogs. We are especially dedicated to helping big dogs, who are particularly prone to the painful and debilitating effects of joint disease, to enjoy a pain-free life for as long as possible,” Big Barker founder and CEO Eric Shannon said in an email. “Police dogs are a special focus for us because their lives are devoted to serving their communities—all of us owe a debt of gratitude to these special dogs. Due to the demands of their daily lives, K9 joints may deteriorate more rapidly than in an average pet, and Big Barker wishes to honor their service to our communities by giving them the best possible sleeping surface to come home to after a long day at work. We believe that there is no one more deserving of a Big Barker bed than a hard working K9 officer.”
According to Shannon, the company’s beds are “specifically designed to keep painful pressure points from making contact with the floor below.”
The beds were donated to K9s from Harrisburg, Derry Township and Lower Paxton Township, according to FOX43, in a ceremony that took place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“It is an unfortunate truth that police officers often have a thankless job. Police are not often acknowledged for the demanding and dangerous work that they do day in and day out, and we always get the distinct sense that they genuinely appreciate our recognition of their service,” Shannon said. “We have found K9 handlers to be very humble and extremely dedicated to their working relationship with their dogs. They often are very open about sharing experiences and stories about working with their dogs, and have even remarked that the donation events give them the opportunity to share the positive side of their work with the public in an often politically charged landscape.”
According to Shannon, the positive feedback it receives from the handlers about how much the K9s love the beds is great.
“Every member of the Big Barker team is a dog owner and a dog lover, and all of us are reminded why we do what we do when a handler feels recognized and appreciated by our donation, and when a K-9 doesn’t seem to want to get off of his or her new bed,” Shannon said.
Donating is nothing new to Big Barker. The company has already made six rounds of donations: four to police departments/K9 associations, one to University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Penn Vet) Working Dog Center and a sixth to Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, according to Big Barker.
So far in 2016, Big Barker has donated 254 beds with a total value of $64,950 to K9 units, veterinary hospitals and rescues across the country, according to Shannon. Big Barker is also scheduled to have another event Wednesday, December 14, with PAWS, the largest no-kill shelter in Philadelphia.