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K-911 Paws Foundation

Non-Profit Helps Support K9 Units Across the Country

Article by Gretchen Pahia

Photography by Christine Andert—Picture Lady Photography LLC

Originally published in North Peoria Lifestyle

K-911 Paws Foundation (K-911Paws.org) is a local non-profit organization that provides education to the public and financial assistance to public safety-certified K9 units nationwide. Units use the assistance training expenses, equipment, medical needs, and funding to purchase new K9s.

Executive Director Shelly Marano says the organization is her passion project. “I have always had a passion for animals and law enforcement. I married a State Trooper and looked to pursue a career in law enforcement, specifically with K9s."

However, life changed drastically for Marano in 2009 when her husband was killed in the line of duty. "I became a widowed mother of three, and I wasn’t sure of my future with law enforcement. Also, my young girls weren’t happy with the uncertainty that 'mom might not come home' either.”

Marano shifted her career goals. Then, in 2019, she got to work as a K9 handler for a private organization. “There, I learned so much about K9s, the struggles among departments, and their lack of funding for their units,” says Marano.

Three years ago, she founded K-911 Paws Foundation. Since then, the team has assisted K9 units nationwide. “We have provided funds for flotation vests for dogs, assisted multiple agencies, helped build medical kits, provided decoy suits for training, and even dental work,” says Marano.

You can donate to K-911 Paws Foundation through the website.

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