Boy Skips Birthday Gifts, Raises $1,290 For Bullet-Proof Vests For K9 Unit Instead

To paw-tect and serve.

This year, Ethan Flint's birthday wish was for more than just him.

Instead of gifts for his birthday, the 9-year-old from Minnesota asked for friends and family to donate money to a GoFundMe campaign to help buy protective vests for police dogs, KSTP reported. On Saturday, Ethan presented a check for $1,290 to the St. Paul Police Department K9 unit.

“I think it’s outstanding that a 9-year-old could think of something like that,” St. Paul Police Sgt. John Linssen told the news outlet. “It’s remarkable.”

Ethan has been helping animals for more than half his life. When he received an overwhelming number of gifts for his 4th birthday, Ethan’s mother looked for a cause for the family to donate to instead of having a party. When the Lake Superior Zoo was flooded, Ethan helped raise money to assist the facility in its recovery, KMSP reported.

That charitable spirit has continued to grow for Ethan, and so has his love for dogs. So, when he heard not all brave pups in the K9 unit had protective vests, he took action.

“I heard that some dogs had vests and some dogs didn’t and I didn’t think it was fair,” the 9-year-old told KMSP.

According to the St. Paul Police K9 Foundation, protective vests for dogs cost approximately $2,600. 

Who says dogs don't smile??? It looks like K9 Gibbs and his best friend Chili are happy it's "Casual Friday"!

Posted by St. Paul Police K-9 Foundation on Friday, July 31, 2015

"We just need to do something that he was interested in," Ethan’s mother, Jennifer Flint, told KSTP. "And give to a cause that he believed in."


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