By Emilie Benito
SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) – The Emma Loves Dogs Foundation has donated $4,500 to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department to help them get a bomb-sniffing dog after their faithful K9 companion retires Valter.
Emma was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a tumor that originates in the brainstem. She didn’t let that dampen her kindness or joy and insisted on donating to animal shelters for her birthdays.
While battling cancer, Emma received many letters from people all over the world. The letters were addressed by their dogs, and many K9 units started visiting her in hospitals to cheer her up, and of course, she was happy surrounded by dogs.
The Emma Loves Dogs Foundation began honoring Emma’s love for dogs. The foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance to no-kill animal shelters and K9 units and, of course, to share Emma’s passion for helping animals.
The Emma Loves Dogs Foundation not only wants to share her passion for helping animals, but also to share the importance that dogs and other animals have in our lives and in the community.
Some of these important animals are the k9 unit dogs. These dogs not only have specialized training in detecting bombs or drugs, but they have also helped find and return lost toddlers or older residents to safety.
Geoff Mertens, Emma’s father and president of the foundation, says, “We don’t just help the police department. We help the community.
Organizations can apply to receive foundation funding for their animals and K9 unit companions. Recently, the foundation launched its donation campaign. The foundation is now surprising organizations in need with a check to help fund their animal programs.