An 11-year-old girl was inspired to help police dogs after K9 Jethro succumbed to three gunshot injuries, ABC News reported last week. Canton, Ohio Police Department K9 Jethro was shot three times by a fleeing suspect in January.
The brave dog was struck in the face, neck, and shoulder; officers returned fire and shot the suspect, Kelontre D. Barefield, 22, in the leg. On Jan. 10, the Police K9 Association posted on its Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts that we must tell you all that we lost Jethro. He took a sudden turn for the worse and has passed. We are all still at the ER vet clinic and will get back to you in a bit.”
The nation mourned the loss of this hero – and an 11-year-old girl was inspired to donate her allowance to help protect other police K9s from a similar fate. According to the K9 unit’s head trainer, the girl, named Allison, donated her allowance to help purchase bulletproof vests for other police dogs.
K9 Jethro, who was only three years old when he succumbed to his injuries, had been with his partner, Officer Ryan Davis, since he was only 8 weeks old. The Canton Police Department stated that Officer Davis never left Jethro’s side.
Officer Eric Stanbro stated that Officer Davis has received more than 2,000 letters since Jethro’s tragic death, but Allison’s letter really resonated with him. “He came across this girl’s letter and donation, and it really touched him,” Stanbro said. “Her thoughtfulness really struck a chord with the K9 Unit.”
Allison’s letter read, in part, “I sorry about Jethro. So here is my allowance for the bulletproof vests. God bless you and the dogs.”
The Police K9 Association followed Jethro’s fight to survive, posting on its Facebook page on Jan. 9: “…He was shot numerous times and the bullets missed all the vital organs and bones. Brain swelling is the main concern and pain management. The outpouring of support has been amazing…”
Shortly afterward, the page posted: “…we are still here keeping the faith. According to the vet he is making progress, however slowly…He is fighting the good fight. Your continued prayers are always welcome. We are truly humbled at the response from people and agencies.” Sadly, Jethro passed away shortly afterward – and tens of thousands shared the post and wrote their condolences for this slain hero.
RIP, Jethro. You truly were a hero. And thank you, Allison, for helping our heroes – may others be inspired to donate and support our brave K9 officers.