Next month, a 10-year-old from Strongsville, Ohio named Brady Snakovsky will receive a special honor from ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals): He'll be named 2019 ASPCA Kid of the Year at the organization's annual Humane Awards Luncheon. Brady earned the title by identifying a life-threatening vulnerability for local police dogs and committing himself to their protection.
It all started when Snakovsky found out that his state couldn't afford potentially life-saving but pricey ballistic vests for their K9 officers. That's when the boy and his mom committed themselves to launching Brady's K9 Fund, which brought in nearly $130K to provide vests for 128 K9 officers in multiple states.
The Ohioan's interest in law enforcement and dogs dates back to his toddler years. "Since the age of two, I have always loved police, especially the K-9 unit, because I love dogs so much," Snakovsky says. "One day, when I was watching one of my favorite TV shows LivePD, I noticed that the police K-9 was not wearing a ballistic vest like his partner. With K-9s usually being the first line of defense during scary situations, I realized they needed bulletproof vests just like their handlers."
That's when he decided to do something to make a difference. "After learning that police K-9s are not automatically issued ballistic vests, I started Brady's K9 Fund to raise money to buy vests for police dogs across the United States," Snakovsky explains. "It’s so important to me to raise money for this cause to keep police dogs safe while they work to protect us."
The local and national response to Snakovsky's mission caught him off-guard. "I was surprised to see people being so generous and giving to my cause," he says. "It makes me happy to see all the dogs vested and to know they are now being protected. I hope that the work that my mom and I do help take a little bit of stress off the handlers knowing their best friend and partner have some added protection. I am truly grateful for each and every donor who helps out Brady’s K9 Fund."
The 10-year-old says he feels "proud" to be honored as ASPCA's Kid of the Year. "It makes me think about how far I’ve come and all that I’ve accomplished," Snakovsky notes.
He also knows that through his work, he's inspiring other kids who might want to give back to their communities. Snakovsky's advice for them? "They need to know to never give up for anything they are passionate about. It's important for them to remember to work hard and accomplish their goals. I promise everyone will feel good once they achieve their goal, and once they do, they will keep going and continue to make a difference in the world."