Mason High School juniors Rachel Cutter and Adele Igney are raising awareness surrounding the sacrifice service working dogs make for our communities through their work with Spike’s K9 Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization founded by James Hatch, a retired Special Warfare Operator. As a K9 handler on several deployments, James’ life was regularly spared in thanks to the work of K9s and one of the most memorable of those was Spike.
On Hatch’s final deployment, he was critically wounded and Spike saved his life while ultimately losing his own. From that evening forward, Hatch centered his life around the training, care and preservation of service working dogs.
In addition to working as the founder and president of Spike’s K9 Fund, he works with local law enforcement and has adopted a former service dog in need of medical attention. Spike’s K9 Fund aspires to ensure that every working K9 receives exactly what they need. The Fund purchases gear to keep K9s safe, while also paying for critical medical treatment to help them either return to work or live out their retirement days in health.
On October 10, 2015, Cutter and Igney made a special trip to Norfolk, Virginia to meet Hatch and show support for his mission. After hearing their ideas for raising awareness and funds, Hatch officially named them Spike’s K9 Fund “Ohio Crew!”
Upon returning from Norfolk, the girls met with Deputy Jeff Duke and his K9 partner Jackson, and they now have the support of the Warren and Butler County K9 Units.
Cutter and Igney set-up their first booth at the 2nd annual Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5k, Walk/Run that was held at the West Chester Town Centre on November 15, 2015. In addition to raising awareness, the girls also sold Spike’s Spirit wear to raise additional funds.
For more information about Spikes K9 Fund and how you can help too, please visit the website, Spikesk9fund.org.?