- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Hyde, a black lab, was on his best behavior at the Charles Town City Council meeting when senior patrolman Jason Newlin explained how local Girl Scouts had worked for months to do something special for several area K9 units.

Pointing to a badge on the dog’s collar last Monday, Newlin credited Girl Scout Troop 40892 with having been responsible for purchasing it. He also spoke about the special bond that had developed in the last few months as this effort progressed.

Leader Kristen Marino, who has been working with these scouts for six years, credited their good hearts for wanting to do a service project benefiting animals.

“Initially they wanted to walk dogs for people who were unable to do so themselves, so we started researching how to work with dogs - which led us to police K9 units,” she said.

Marino agreed with Newlin that it didn’t take long for the scouts to decide how to move forward, adding, “After meeting him and K9 Hyde, the girls knew they wanted to do something special to help the working dogs in Jefferson County.”

When they learned the hard-working dogs didn’t have badges, they became determined to change that, she said.

“The girls learned that these brave dogs have access to quality safety equipment and veterinary care, but, despite being police officers, they did not have police badges of their own,” Marino said.

“So the girls decided they did need their own badges. They worked hard selling Girl Scout cookies, as well as homemade dog treats and toys, at the Charles Town Farmers Market to raise the funds for these K9 badges,” she said.

Their collaborative effort has not gone unnoticed by others, Marino said, explaining that the girls received a special award honoring this effort.

“As Girl Scout Juniors, the girls can earn the Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. It consists of a service project that benefits the local community, and it’s recommended that each girl devote at least 20 hours to the project,” she said.

Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Berkeley Springs, Shepherd University and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received K9 badges as part of this project, Marino said.

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Information from: The Journal, https://journal-news.net/

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