Feel good story of the week: Retired officer vows to shave her head for donations to service dog charity

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC – A non-profit organization that we have covered previously here at Law Enforcement Today, Steadfast Service Dogs, has gotten in cahoots with a medically retired police officer based in the Midwest who has vowed to shave her head to support an active donation drive for the organization.  

Steadfast Service Dogs is an amazing organization that aims to help provide individuals suffering from various disabilities, or trauma survivors, with a service dog that can help them through their journey.

But task-specific trained service dogs can sometimes cost well over $10,000 just to train, which is why Steadfast Service Dogs provides a lifeline for those enduring challenges related to disability.

On April 29th, Steadfast Service Dogs shared the following post on their Facebook page, noting that a current handler and (medically retired) officer will be willing to shave her head if the organization can accrue $17K by May 5th (which that is the average amount needed to train a single service dog):

“Lots of people are crazy about what we do for others here at Steadfast Service Dogs.

“How crazy??

“Well, we are about to find out! One of our dog handlers is a Police Officer, and she (Yes…she) has offered to shave her head if we raise the money it would take to train and place a service dog with a wounded Police Officer or spouse of an Officer killed in the line of duty.

“Yes, a woman believes so strongly in our mission that she will shave her head to help us help someone else… Our handler will only shave her head (pics will be posted to prove that she did it) if we pull in a minimum of 17k in donations by May 5th!”

When we at Law Enforcement Today heard about this effort, we had to know one thing: Is this for real?

We can confirm: It’s real; and we had an opportunity to speak with the medically retired police officer about this pledge for Steadfast Service Dogs.

Now, while many may want to know who this medically retired officer is, she specifically asked us to not share her name, because she hasn’t told anyone (not even her spouse, yikes) that she has pledged to rock a new hairdo (or lack thereof) in the coming days.

And who are we to spoil surprises?

All that we can say is that she’s real and she’s 100% on board with this (not to mention, she’s pretty damn funny to converse with, as well).

The best we can do for now is show evidence of the dedicated retired officer’s hair.

Image of medically retired officer's hair vowed to be shaved for donation drive - (courtesy of retired officer)
Image of medically retired officer’s hair vowed to be shaved for donation drive – (courtesy of retired officer)

Now as you can see on the linked post here in the article, those interested in donating to Steadfast Service Dogs can do so directly through that link provided on the post.

And we over here at Law Enforcement Today know that our fine readers can certainly get behind an organization doing such great work like this.

If any of our readers or at all more curious about the work that has been done by Steadfast Service Dogs, please check out the below article that we had published back on March 27th noting how the organization has agreed to help a widow of a fallen officer obtain a service dog of her own to help her with the trauma she is enduring.

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC – A non-profit organization (NPO) specializing in training service dogs recently had the opportunity to connect with a woman whose husband of 26 years was killed while he was initiating a traffic stop in Stanley last February.

When the husband-and-wife team behind this amazing NPO caught wind that this grieving widow was on the lookout for a German Shepherd, they happily agreed to help her out in her time of need, offering to train one of their own service dogs just for her.

We at Law Enforcement Today are hoping that you can help keep this amazing NPO continuing their great work. Since Steadfast Service Dogs is an IRS approved 501c3 non-profit, all donations are tax deductible.

Law Enforcement Today has previously covered the amazing work done by Steadfast Service Dogs, which is truly a labor of love for Andre and Gwen Sadowski.

The goal of the NPO and the couple behind it is simple: train service dogs so that people in need can have one of their amazing companions donated to them.

One can’t get more wholesome than having an outfit dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities and/or suffering the trauma associated with issues like PTSD.

That’s exactly why the work Steadfast Service Dogs does in tandem with their mission is not only important, but it’s a cause that anyone can appreciate and support.

Back on February 26th, 48-year-old Stanley Police Officer Dominic “Nick” Winum was killed while initiating a traffic stop.

As fate would have it, Andre and Gwen Sadowski would wind up getting in contact with Officer Winum’s widow after they heard she was vying for a four-legged companion to help her deal with the loss of her husband.

In a post shared by the NPO on March 18th, the following was noted about how fate connected Officer’s Winum’s widow and the Sadowskis:

“Nick was a 15-year Law Enforcement veteran. He served for 10 years as a Virginia State Trooper, and 5 years with the Stanley Police Department. He was well liked and very well respected  by everyone that he served with, and the citizens that he served.

“He was also a husband, and a father of four. His family is devastated. His wife of 26 years is grappling with the prospect a future without her partner.

“Two days ago, in a conversation with a close friend, Nick’s wife Kara mentioned that she really needed a dog to help her make it through this. In specific, she wanted a German Shepherd.

“This morning, we had an hour long conversation with her. At times positive, at times tearful. Before the call ended, we told Kara that we would provide one of our dogs to her, to walk next to her through the roughest time in her life.”

With running a non-profit that consists of breeding, raising, housing, training, and donating service dogs, clearly there are costs associated with the effort.

And without the generosity of others contributing what they can to help Steadfast Service Dogs keep their mission alive and going, people like Kara Winum wouldn’t be able to have this lifeline in her time of need and loss.

So, if you can, please consider making a donation to Steadfast Service Dogs at the link here. Because when you help fund this organization, you’re helping people just like the wife of late-Officer Winum.

I certainly wouldn’t ask anyone else to do something I, personally, wouldn’t be willing to do myself – so I’ve taken the first step myself in donating to this amazing group.

Image of donation confirmation - courtesy of Greg Hoyt
Image of donation confirmation – courtesy of Greg Hoyt

And I know we have some amazing readers of Law Enforcement Today who’ll do the same for our friends at Steadfast Service Dogs.

With all of our help, we can make sure that this organization can continue providing invaluable help to those who need it most.

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