15th Annual Cape Cod Police K-9 Relief Fund Kicks Off on Sunday in Yarmouth

Retired police K-9 Jaxx

YARMOUTH – An annual fundraiser that raises money to assist the veterinary bills of retired K-9 officers is entering its 15th year.

The Cape Cod Police K-9 Relief Fund is hosting its annual reception at the Yarmouth House Restaurant on Sunday. The event will host a silent auction, raffle, and will be serving hors d’oeuvres.

Donations from local businesses and individuals, combined with merchandise sales, help to keep the fund functioning throughout the year. The fund also receives commission from purchases made on its website.

The fundraiser was started by its founder, Joe Ambrosini, 18 years ago.

“Eighteen year ago I was a K-9 handler for the Sheriff’s Department, and when the dogs retire the departments don’t pay for them anymore, the burden is on the officer to pay for their medical bills. So, I tell this story over and over, but it was like 2:00 in the morning and I said, ‘You know what? I think I’m going to try and get a foundation so when the dogs retire this foundation will pay for their medical bills.’ Because a lot of the officers will get another dog and then the burden is on the officer for the medical bills,” he explained.

“If anybody takes their dogs to the vet, you know I have two healthy labs and its $600 before I get out of there, and they’re healthy.”

Suggested donations are $50, which can be made upon arrival to the reception or by sending a check to the Cape Cod K-9 Relief Fund, at P.O. Box 582 in South Dennis.

Veterinary costs can easily reach thousands of dollars for various injuries and ailments suffered by the dogs following their policing career.

Ambrosini says that the fund is currently caring for 17 retired police dogs on the Cape.

“It rotates over: One dog retires and another comes on. It’s like perpetual motion, it just keeps coming,” said Ambrosini.

“But, that’s what the foundation is for and these dogs, I can speak for myself as I was a handler. I’ve been in riots with my dog, I’ve found children, I’ve found elderly people, caught bad guys, found property, they’ll go where no other officer will go, and he’ll die for you, so I think we owe them something.”

The event will be held from 3:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. Yarmouth House Restaurant is located on Route 28 in South Yarmouth.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center 

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