10-year-old raises money for K-9 agility course, vests for police K-9s

The agility course is open to the public except on Tuesdays when it's reserved for police K-9 training

By Brian Lisik
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — For the past two years, 10-year-old Brady Snakovsky, of Strongsville, has been on a mission. That mission came to Brunswick in a big way last month.

Brady is the founder and CEO of Brady’s K9 Fund, which has fundraised thousands of dollars for police departments across the country to purchase more than 250 K9 ballistic vests and counting.

Brady Snakovsky, 10, stands with a Bedford Police officer after donating a vest to K-9 Luca on August 25, 2020 in Bedford, Ohio. (Photo/Bedford Police Department)
Brady Snakovsky, 10, stands with a Bedford Police officer after donating a vest to K-9 Luca on August 25, 2020 in Bedford, Ohio. (Photo/Bedford Police Department)

“Two years ago, I was watching a (TV) show called ‘Live PD’ and I saw a (police) K9 that didn’t have a vest,” Brady said. “I thought they automatically had them.”

Brady’s K9 Fund recently caught the attention of producers at New York and Los Angeles-based Spoke Studios, the team behind CBS, A&E, and History Channel shows such as “Counting Cars,” “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Alone,” and “Pawn Stars.”

Spoke Studios producers approached Brady and his mother, Leah Tornabene, who is also her son’s business partner, about appearing in a prospective show called “The Big Good.” The show focuses on kids doing good deeds in their communities.

Sticking to his vision

Tornabene said the producers tried to convince Brady to expand the scope of his fundraising mission for the television show. Brady, however, remained adamant that whatever new project he undertook would benefit police K9s.

Brady, Tornabene, and her husband, Brook Park Police Officer Mike Tornabene, eventually hit upon the idea of making improvements to an area dog park. When the Brunswick Dog Park, on Cross Creek Drive, was selected, the plan grew to include the addition of agility course equipment, which will be used by local police departments for police dog training.

While the general public is permitted to let their dogs use the K9 agilities, the park will be reserved for police department training on Tuesdays.

Along with school, baseball, amusement parks, and his family, the Whitney Elementary School fifth-grader has always been passionate about animals and police work.

“When he was 2 he started dressing like a police officer,” Tornabene said. “He demanded to be called ‘officer’ in pre-school.”

Already a hit

In late July, Brunswick City Council approved a contract with Spoke Studios to fund the improvements to the dog park as part of the television show production.  As the K9 agilities were ordered and began to arrive, Brady and his mom dug into cleanup efforts at the 15-year-old park – literally.

“We trimmed all the trees and planted some shrubs and stuff,” Brady said.

Filming of the television show has finished, though an air date is yet to be announced. Tornabene said she and Brady hope to have a formal park dedication in the near future when COVID-19 regulations allow.

In the meantime, the agilities are already being put to good use.

“It was really nice that they made it for community use, but also for legitimate police use,” said Brunswick Police Department K9 Supervisor, Sergeant Jon Page.

Page said that with the nearest similar facility in Euclid, the park will be used for both large group training and individual work during each of the BPD’s two K-9 units shifts.

“I request that they train one-hour per shift,” Page said of officers Mark Luciano and Joseph Ceccacci and their partners, K9 Nico and K9 Koda. “They have had to train wherever they can find a place – such as abandoned buildings to practice building searches. Now they have a facility to use for that hour. Another advantage is that they can use it at any time. So Officer Luciano can be there at 3 a.m. during his shift.”

Page added that he is particularly happy with the variety of enrichment the agilities at the Brunswick Dog Park will provide.

“It is something fresh for the dogs,” he said. “And dogs are just like humans – they want fresh, interesting things to do.”

©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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