By Chris Bavender
Eighth-grader Luke Moody believes it’s important to support Third-World nations, but he also knows the importance of serving his community.
That’s why the Our Lady of Grace student is creating a school project on global issues on man’s best friend, raising money for bullet and stab-resistant vests for police dogs.
“The first idea I had was to fund clean water, and while this, too, is an important issue, I was simply not as interested in that topic,” Moody said. “But when I found this one, I was immediately connected to the subject and have been very passionate about it since then.”
Moody’s research showed many police departments, after investing thousands in purchasing and training a K-9, don’t have funds to buy vests, which can cost as much as $3,000.
“A significant motivator to do this project was the fact that in the past four years, 117 police dogs have died in the line of duty,” Moody said. “Meanwhile, a police K-9 in Florida survived three gunshots with the protection of his vest. I felt like I could actually make a difference.”
Moody’s science teacher, Angela Bond, loved the idea.
“It always amazes me they come up with ideas I would not have thought of. His cause is simple but a really good one that will grow on its own,” Bond said. “A lot of people will be passionate about helping out animals, and something like this, where you can connect with law enforcement, is really great.”
It’s a connection Moody already has. His dad is in law enforcement, and his dog, a German shepherd named Willow, was bred to be a service dog. All of her littermates went to police search and rescue.
Through his GoFundMe page, Man’s Vest Friend, Moody said he wanted to raise enough money to outfit one of the three Noblesville Police Dept.’s K-9s. But as of late last month, $4,000 had been raised, surpassing the initial goal of $1,500, meaning Moody will be able to provide vests for all three of the department’s K-9s.
“People are extremely generous, especially when it comes to supporting those who sacrifice daily to protect us,” Moody said. “This clearly includes K-9 officers who literally live their lives to protect ours. There is so much we can accomplish when we work together.”
Moody said he plans to keep the GoFundMe page open at least through National Police Week (May 12-18) and the May 18 Run With The Cops 5K in Noblesville.
“If I continue to get donations after that, I may possibly be able to reach out to other departments to assess their need,” he said.
To donate or learn more, visit Man’s Vest Friend at gofundme.com/auvp95-man039s-vest-friend.