The furriest members of the Carolina Beach Police Department have received a donation from a group of local pub crawlers.
Crawl for Paws recently presented a check for $3000 to the CBPD, which will go to the fund used to support the department’s two police dogs and their handlers.
This is not the first donation the group has made to the K9 unit. The group was started in 2014 when Wayne Rouse, one of the founders, served on the town’s Police Advisory Committee and realized there was a need for ballistic vests for the police dogs. Crawl for Paws wanted to raise funds in a fun and different way, so they came up with the idea to do a local pub crawl and sell shirts to raise money.
“We had hoped to raise a few hundred dollars and call it a success,” said another Crawl for Paws founder, Tim Morrison, of that first effort in early 2014. “But we ended up selling a lot more shirts than expected.”
According to Morrison, about 100 shirts were sold during the first crawl. Combined with money raised from pub games played during the day and other donations, Crawl for Paws was able to give the CBPD $2000 that first time. This past May, around 300 shirts were sold and about 200 people participated in the crawl throughout the day. In total, the group has given about $10,000 to the K9 unit.
According to CBPD Cpl. Steven Baize, the department’s two dogs, Ammo and Nox, received their ballistic vests about six to eight months ago. Now, the money received from Crawl for Paws goes toward training and general care of the animals.
“With K9, it’s a constant training program,” said Baize, who has been with the unit since 2014 when he started handling Ammo. “We try to train as much as we can – every week and every day, if possible.”
Baize said the money is also used to groom and feed the dogs, who are young (they both turn three years old in the next couple of months) and fairly new to the department. The money also helps them get certified through the United States Police Canine Association so their findings can be used as evidence in court cases.
Crawl for Paws also makes donations to no-kill shelters in the area, such as Southport/Oak Island Animal Rescue in Brunswick County, and other animal charities. Morrison, who has two dogs of his own, said they are always looking for more organizations to donate to as their fundraiser grows.
Plans for this year’s pub crawl are already underway. The date is set for May 14. The list of participating bars has not yet been finalized, but will all be within walking distance of Carolina Beach’s Boardwalk area. Shirts have been designed and are already available for purchase. For the first time, they are being offered in long sleeves ($30) or short sleeves ($25), and Morrison said they are waiving shipping fees this year in order to reach more people.
“We want to make it so that you can be in Alaska and still support our cause without having to worry about shipping fees,” said Morrison. “We want to make it easier for people who can’t necessarily come to the crawl to still participate in our efforts.”
The design on the front of the navy blue shirts include the initials of Harry Wade, the group’s third founding member who passed away in the time between the first and second crawls. Morrison and Rouse are hoping the organization grows not just to help more animals, but also to honor Wade’s legacy.
“We try to remember him in everything that we do,” Morrison said. “He was a big driving force behind this thing.”
Baize and the dogs of the Carolina Beach Police Department are thankful that the organization is around to help them out.
“The stuff that they do for us is amazing,” said Baize, who said that the department tries to help with the fundraising efforts as much as they can. “The amount that they donate to us is incredible and very helpful. We appreciate everything they do for us.”