CALCIUM — The annual chicken barbecue at the Calcium Fire Hall will be taking place this weekend in support of Northern New York K-9s, a program founded by Christina Maney.
The barbecue will start at 11 a.m. Saturday and will run until they are out of dinners. Dinner will cost $12.
Chicken, beans, macaroni salad, a bake sale and raffle items will all be available.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, state police, Watertown Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office will be bringing their K-9s to the event.
All of the money brought in will go toward active and retired K-9s that have served or are still serving the north country.
The program started when Watertown police officer Wayne McConnell got K-9 Ricky, and Ms. Maney was speaking with co-founder Joe Wargo and they found out that even though the city paid for K-9 Ricky, the dog wasn’t receiving a vest, and she said the city wasn’t going to purchase one.
“We wanted to help raise funds so that he could get a vest because he is just as much a police officer as any human officer is,” she said.
They then decided to do a chicken barbecue at the Northpole Fire Hall where Mr. Wargo is the fire chief. It all took off from there.
Ms. Maney said they were able to raise enough money for a vest for K-9 Ricky, but they can also help cover medical costs for the dogs.
“A big thing that we do now, that we try to tell more people about, is once a K-9 retires … the agencies don’t cover any financial cost for the dog anymore,” she said. “So all of their medical needs, their food, everything, goes to the handler.”
She said there have been times when a retired K-9 was sick, and they were able to help offset the costs.
“We can cover anything that the dogs need,” she said.
Ms. Maney is the wife of Watertown police officer Michael Maney, who is the handler of K-9 Jochie, and the previous handler of K-9 Nico who died earlier this year.
NNY K-9s has teamed up with the Northern New York Community Foundation, which handles the financial end.
Those interested in contributing can reach out to the Community Foundation or to the Northern New York K-9s Facebook page.
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