Tickling, tackling and teasing police K-9 units are among Braden Anderson’s first memories.
“Whenever I’d fall on the ground, I’d always have thousands of them swarm me,” Braden said.
From the time that he could even understand what it meant to be a K-9 officer, his dad, who served on the K-9 force for 14 years, said his son always wanted to follow in his footsteps.
“It was probably a very young age, maybe four or five, that’s all he wanted to do was be with the K-9s and be a K-9 handler,” Pete Anderson said.
More than 50 K-9s die every year from heat stroke while waiting for officers in the car.
Just last year, two dogs died from heat stroke here in Hagerstown while on the job.
Braden said he wanted to make sure others did not have lose a dog, especially considering the strong relationship officers build with their K-9s.
“I’d say it would be a lot bigger of a bond than you could [make] with a human because the dog will always be there,” Braden said.
He started selling scrap metal, asked for donations, and eventually he raised more than $3,500 dollars to buy five heat alarms for local law enforcement.
The heat alarms alert officers when the inside of the car is warmer than 75 degrees and then it cracks the windows open.
Braden donated three of the devices to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
“Prior to have a device like this, we would have to rely on checking your car every half hour, just to make sure the air conditioner was working properly and make sure the temperature was fine for the dogs,” Sgt. John Martin with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Braden donated another two to the Allegany County Sheriff’s office.
“We’re in the process of purchasing two new dogs for the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and now we have two new heat alarms for the dogs,” Lt. Randy Cutter of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office said.
With a heart like that, officers said Braden definitely has what it takes to pursue his dream career.
“I’ve always wanted to work with the dogs,” Braden said.