Anderson Cooper Donates Bulletproof Vests to Virginia K9 Unit

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Four paws up for Anderson Cooper! The CNN news anchor steps up to buy bulletproof vests for every K9 in the Norfolk, Virginia police department.

He may have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but Anderson Cooper’s heart is pure gold.

It seems the famed CNN news correspondent (of Vanderbilt lineage) donated his fees from an upcoming speaking engagement to ensure the town’s police K-9 unit were equipped with bulletproof vests.

The catalyst was an event that happened on January 11 in Norfolk, Virginia – the same town where Cooper would soon be delivering a lecture. A man had barricaded himself into his home during a standoff and during the ensuing gun battle; a beloved police dog named Krijger was shot and killed.

Related: Police Dog’s Heroic Sacrifice the Inspiration behind Aron’s Law

As it happens, Cooper had interviewed a Navy SEAL by the name of Jimmy Hatch back in 2009 following a dramatic rescue in Afghanistan. What’s the connection? That same, now retired, SEAL has started an organization called Spike’s K-9 Fund, named for a dog he lost during combat in Iraq. He had in fact worked with Krijger during his volunteer work with the police department, offering tips on handling dogs in volatile environments.

For Cooper, it was a no-brainer to work through Hatch’s organization to find a way to give back to the police department of Norfolk. He had seen Hatch tweet about his K9 ballistic vest fundraising effort and decided to donate his entire speaking fee from his upcoming “Norfolk Forum” lecture.

The funds will cover the costs necessary to equip each of the dogs in the unit with this crucial yet pricey piece of equipment. At $2,200 each, the cost to outfit the 18 dogs in the unit would have been impossible to raise locally, but Cooper’s donation means not only the pooches in Norfolk receive vests but funds left over will help outfit some of the neighboring town’s K-9 units as well.

“My heart is broken for Krijger’s handler,” Hatch told his local newspaper. “Among dogs, he stood out.”

As for Cooper, Hatch’s only comment is “He’s such a good dude. And genuine.

Yeah, I think so too!

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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