They get up and go to work everyday, they have four paws and they are police officers, too.
K-9 units across the world are on the front lines with their handlers everyday and the nonprofit organization “We Ride to Provide” has been ensuring their safety since 2010, said Holly Cripps, who started the program with her husband Police Chief Jason Cripps of the Porterdale Police Department in Georgia.
Love County Sheriffs Department K-9 unit Jerry Lee was among one of the hundreds of dogs to receive his free medical bag from the organization last month.
Cripps said “We Ride to Provide” currently has around 260 bags in 10 countries which have helped save 19 dogs and four people since the program started.
“It’s a pretty good kit — it treats from bee stings to gun shot wounds,” Cripps said.
The idea for the program came about when Cripps noticed that the budget for smaller departments sometimes doesn’t allow for expenses like med kits for K-9s, Cripps said.  
“When the department doesn’t have the funding, that particular responsibility often falls on our officers,” Cripps said. “My husband’s department is only 10 men and when my husband first started working there his budget to take care of Bo (his K-9) was $250.”
Cripps buys all of the supplies and packs them herself, amounting to a total of $99. Then, once an officer asks for their K-9 to be sponsored, Cripps shares a picture of the K-9 and its info and “somebody will always come up and donate that $99,” she said.
In addition, “We Ride to Provide” replaces expired materials when needed, helps pay medical bills and honors dogs that have passed, Cripps said.
“Before we started doing this there were very few actual K-9 funerals in the world and now you’ll notice that all around the United States there are services being held for these heroes,” Cripps said.
The passion Cripps has for these dogs comes through when she recalls the lives her kits have saved.
Cripps’ kit meant life or death for one K-9 unit in Utah. After being shot twice in the neck, the K-9’s handler was able to save her with supplies from the bag, Cripps said.
“They don’t live very long and I believe that’s because they’re so pure in their heart, they don’t need a lot of time to get it right,” Cripps said, voice cracking.