After his tireless efforts to cloak America’s finest police dogs in the latest ballistics protection, it was 10-year-old Brady Snakovsky’s turn to be showered with gratitude by the homeland security community.
Brady, a fourth-grader from Strongsville, Ohio, flew to D.C. on Wednesday to be honored with the Citizen of Mission Award at Homeland Security Today’s annual holiday event to recognize homeland security stars from around the country.
Through Brady’s K9 Fund, 139 K9s have been outfitted with lightweight bulletproof vests as the young philanthropist has raised more than $130,000. The HSToday celebration at the National Law Enforcement Museum was the latest stop in Brady’s awards season: in November, he was honored with the ASPCA’s Kid of the Year award “for identifying a life-threatening vulnerability for local police dogs and committing himself to their protection.”
Before dining with fellow stars and formally collecting his HSToday Award, Brady got to mingle with honored four-legged guests: U.S. Marshals K9 Brando and his partner, Deputy U.S. Marshal Fletcher Veitch, and the K9 partner of Customs and Border Protection Canine Enforcement Officer Kevin Witte, who presented Brady with a Canine Program coin and baseball cards bearing the furry mugs of hard-working CBP dogs.
When it came time to receive his award, Brady received a standing ovation from a crowd of dignitaries representing homeland security and law enforcement agencies and contractors who support the mission.
Brady thanked all of the law enforcement and military members in attendance.
“I am happy to help all the K9s,” he said. “I hope to see all the K9s on my waiting list vested and make Brady’s Fund a household name.”
Noted HSToday Executive Editor Kristina Tanasichuk: “That’s the future of our country — and I’m feeling kind of good about it.”
Pushing the limits of bedtime, Brady enjoyed meeting his admirers in the D.C. crowd until event staff called it a night and began cleaning up the Judiciary Square venue. “I’m excited because you guys picked me out of a lot of people to give me the award,” Brady told HSToday. “So I’m thankful.”
Brady has two dogs at home and said they helped inspire him to help other pups. He came up with the idea for Brady’s Fund while watching the show “Live PD” and “there was this K9 that didn’t have a vest, so I wanted a vest.”
Asked how he felt when the first K9 he helped got that vest, Brady said he was “surprised because I raised all that money just for one.”
What’s next for HSToday’s Citizen of Mission? “Just to vest as many as I can,” Brady said. There are currently 59 police dogs on the Brady’s K9 Fund waiting list.
“They’re just really thankful that they receive the protection for their dogs,” Brady said of the feedback he receives from departments who have benefited from Brady’s K9 Fund.