BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It was a fundraiser to help first responders but not the first responders you might be thinking of… it’s the four legged heroes who risk their their lives for our protection.

The Kern County Sherriff’s Office K-9 unit is getting some needed help from the community. A local organization aims to raise thousands for the unit.

That organization is the Rivers of Living Waters Bakersfield, and it’s hosted fundraisers for the K9 Unit at the Kern County Sheriff’s Office for five years.
It’s an event to meet our local law enforcement pups, while supporting them.

“It’s all about the loyalty, the dedication and integrity of all our law enforcement and first responders that people really need to know how much they give to us so that we can live where we live,”Kimbyr Blanton a senior pastor at Rivers of Living Waters Bakersfield said. “We’re so grateful to be able to honor them this way.”

KCSO canines demonstrated their skills at the fundraiser, from identifying hidden narcotics, completing obedience tests and demonstrating their bites on their handlers but that’s not all.

The event featured food trucks, a raffle for prizes, and meet and greet opportunities with Kern County Sheriff’s deputies, Bakersfield Police officers, California Highway Patrol, and Bakersfield firefighters.

“This event for us is very near and dear to our hearts because they supply our canine teams with crucial equipment,” Robert Fisher a K-9 handler at KCSO said. “That’s going to be armor for the dog sometimes for critical situations.”

All of the proceeds from the barbeque, silent auction, and raffles will be donated to the KCSO K-9 Unit

“They lay their lives on the line everyday but that bond they establish is forever and I’m so grateful to know that once the dog retires he gets to go spend the rest of his days with his handler,” Blanton said.