News & Politics

Anderson Cooper Donated Protective Vests for Dogs to a Virginia Police Department

Photograph via iStock.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is donating a sum of money large enough to buy ballistic vests for every police dog in Norfolk, Virginia, according to a non-profit organization that raises funds to buy equipment for police and military K-9 units. Spikes K9 Fund, a Virginia Beach-based group, says Cooper gave the speaking fee he collected for an upcoming appearance in Norfolk to the Norfolk Police Department, which on Monday lost one of its dogs after it was shot during an armed standoff.

The police dog, a four-year-old Belgian malinois named Krijger, was fatally shot by 58-year-old Keith Richardson, who barricaded himself in his home Sunday night and wound up in an eight-hour showdown with police. Richardson was shot by police during the episode, and died from his wounds on Tuesday afternoon, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

Veterinarians said Krijger would have likely survived his wounds had he been wearing a ballistic vest, but protective vests for police dogs can run as high as $2,200.

A note about Krijger’s death on the Norfolk Police Department’s Facebook page found its way to Cooper, who shared the news with his Twitter audience along with a link to Spikes K9 Fund. The group’s founder, former Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch, had been a guest on Cooper’s CNN program in 2015.

It is with heavy hearts we announce the loss of a loyal and dedicated member of the Norfolk Police Department. K9 “…

Posted by Norfolk Police Department on Monday, January 11, 2016

While Spikes K9 Fund and CNN are keeping a lid on how much Cooper gave, it’s enough to outfit not just the Norfolk Police Department’s entire K-9 unit but several dogs at police departments in neighboring cities. The Washington Speakers Bureau lists Cooper’s speaking fee as at least $40,001—enough for 18 vests.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.