When Hope and Jim Williams attended the Dec.10 Sequim City Council meeting, they were pleasantly surprised to be the recipients of a Sequim Police Department award for their voluntary food donations to the city’s K-9 program.
The SPD recognized the efforts of the couple, who have provided food for the K-9s through their business Best Friend Nutrition: A Health Food Store for Pets, with the 2012 Sequim Police Department K-9 Appreciation Award. The award was presented Monday night to recognize the Williamses’ contributions to provide free dog food for the police dogs since 2008.
Officer Mike Hill said that the Williamses were a natural choice for the award. While shopping at Best Friend Nutrition, Hill mentioned that the department was getting a new K-9 dog and Hope Williams asked how she could help. He says that she set up the donation service and coordinated with the food vendors all on her own.
The money saved by food donations has allowed the department to provide Chase, the single patrol dog, with better training and equipment.
Hill said most donations to the program are monetary and said they are deposited into a nest egg specifically for the K-9 team. Others are products, and include the Williamses’ food donations or the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club’s purchase of an expensive bulletproof vest for Chase.
“The support we get from the community is outstanding,” Hill said.
The food, an Orijen brand, contains a high quality mixture of carbs and animal proteins. The Williamses chose the food based not only on its quality, but because they say it provides the greatest amount of animal protein, which is important to dogs.
Hope Williams said that having quality animal protein is crucial to Chase’s well-being as a police dog that works in high-stress conditions and needs quality cellular reproduction.
“When you’re doing something you think is right, you’re not looking for accolades, so it’s always a surprise when you get them,” she said.
“We do the donation because we think Mike and Chase are a fabulous K-9 team and we want to make sure that Chase is as healthy as possible.”
By providing food for Chase, the Williamses saved the city hundreds of dollars annually on dog food.
The award was created several years ago to recognize individuals who helped with the advancement of the K-9 Program and usually is given to officers.
While Hope Williams said she appreciates the recognition, it’s an ancillary benefit to what she considers a very fulfilling community role.
“It’s an honor to be recognized,” she said, “but it’s a bigger honor to be able to contribute.”
Both she and Hill say that in small communities such as Sequim, the government is defined and supported by its people and it’s important to help out to make the community grow.
Reach Ross Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.