JACKSONVILLE — K9s United, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting law enforcement K9 units with vital equipment and training, is in the final months of accepting preorders for its approved state of Florida K9s United specialty license plate. The organization, based in Jacksonville, is encouraging Florida drivers to preorder their K9s United license plates by Oct. 15 to meet the state requirement of 3,000 plates sold in order to be produced and offered statewide.
“K9s United was born through a passion for our K9 officers who silently work so hard to protect and serve our communities,” said Debbie Johnson, K9s United founder and president. “While they don’t have a voice to communicate their needs, we do, and we work hard to provide our canine officers and their handlers with training and equipment to stay safe in the field. By supporting our K9s United specialty license plate, you are not only advocating for our organization, you are also supporting our furry officers for years and years to come. The revenue generated from the plates will help take our mission to the next level to provide the programs and supplies these selfless dogs need to serve our communities.”
The unique plate design was created to honor two special K9 officers and was voted on by Florida residents and K9 supporters prior to release. Featured on the plate are two brave Florida K9 officers, including retired St. Johns County Sheriff’s Officer K9 Ryker that sadly passed in 2020, and retired Marion County Sheriff’s Officer K9 Drago that served the community for more than four years.
Proceeds from the license plates could potentially reach $75,000 annually to help K9s United provide essential paws-on training workshops, resources, equipment and advocacy to law enforcement K9s and their handlers. The specialty license plates can be preordered by Florida residents with active state driver’s licenses for $33 from any authorized motor vehicle service center throughout the state of Florida (in person or online), or from the K9s United website for $34. Most importantly, $25 from each plate sold will directly benefit K9s United to support the nonprofit’s mission to educate, train and provide vital equipment and services to K9s who protect and serve their communities.
Many law enforcement agencies don’t have adequate funding to provide K9 units with the necessary resources they need, including advanced training, equipment and kennels, vehicle heat alarms and door poppers, canine emergency kits and bulletproof vests, along with other larger health expenses. K9s United helps fill that void and aid law enforcement agencies to ensure the K9 units have the programs and supplies the dogs need most.
Additionally, K9s United actively advocates for legislation that protects and serves these selfless working dogs. The organization has successfully championed Florida legislation to create harsher penalties for criminals who intentionally harm a working K9, and allows injured K9s to be transported via emergency vehicles to the nearest emergency vet. K9s United is committed to supporting legislation on local, state and federal levels to protect K9 teams across the country.
About K9s United
K9s United is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to supporting K9 law enforcement officers who detect, protect and serve our communities by giving them the best equipment, amenities and quality of life during and after their service, and memorializing those who give the ultimate sacrifice. For more information or to donate, visit www.k9sunited.org.