When Winchester K-9 officer Riggs got injured during training in October, his handler, Cpl. Sean O’Connor, didn’t have any way to help his partner.
Riggs, who was chasing after a ball, slipped on a tile floor and crashed into a glass display case. The 2-year-old German Shepherd Dog was cut across the chest.
“I have my own personal [individual first aid] kit, but nothing that would help with a canine at that point,” said O’Connor. “Scared me a lot.”
But thanks to Stonewall Arms and the Winchester-Frederick Law Enforcement Foundation, K-9 officers now have specialized first aid kids in case Riggs or the other dogs get hurt.
“We sell the people version of these kits at our shop,” said Stonewall Arms general manager A.J. Williams. “They just became available as a canine kit, as a purpose-driven kit for the dogs. And there’s a need there, there’s no doubt about that. So we decided to just go ahead and get them for the guys.”
The store donated 11 of the kits to the foundation, which will be split between the Winchester Sheriff’s Office, the Winchester Police Department, and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
The K-9 first aid kits cost about $100 and Winchester police chief John Piper says this sort of donation is helpful when the budget is tight.
“Donations like this allow us to purchase these items that sometimes just because of the nature of the fiscal cycle of the city, we’re not able to purchase,” said Piper. “The foundation has been a great partner for the police department throughout many years to allow us to purchase items that aren’t contained within our normal operating budget.”