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Children at Longfellow Elementary set out to raise money to purchase a uniform vest and collar for Mace, a 1 1/2 year-old male German Shepherd Minot Police Department K-9. Then they went even further and presented his handler with the money to buy a ballistic vest for the police dog as well.
âThey went above and beyond,â said Minot Senior Patrol Officer Matthew Pappenfuss, who was presented with the donation at a school assembly on Tuesday.
Pappenfuss said he was grateful that the school had raised the money for the dogâs everyday uniform and collar. On Tuesday, he was surprised when he found out that the children had raised about four times the original amount, enough to buy the ballistics vest too.
In all, about $2,900 was raised.
Longfellow PTA officer Terri Duchsherer said in an email that the school learned about Mace from a Minot Police Department social media post.
âReading through the comments and researching costs of K-9 vests gave the push of needing to help,â said Duchsherer. âAfter getting the proper OKâs we sprung into action. Community service is something we stress the importance of and do but donât always see the ending. This project was different. It was one that students could connect to and have a vision that they could understand. Every child knows things about dogs and connects because animals are so important to children.â
Duchsherer said one of the fundraisers was Hat Day. On Oct. 31, $1,000 was raised in a single day in donations from Longfellow students, staff and their families. The Hess Corporation also agreed to donate $1,900 to meet the schoolâs goal.
Pappenfuss spent about seven weeks in Indiana going through training with Mace, who comes from Eastern Europe.
The dog still has a lot of puppy in him and is energetic, said Pappenfuss. Pappenfuss said he was glad to show off Mace and his skills for the kids on Tuesday.
âHeâs going to be a good dog for the department,â said Pappenfuss.
The uniform vest and collar and the ballistics vest will help keep the K-9 member of the Minot police force safe on the job and when he is called to duty in dangerous situations.