Fox Los Angeles’ coverage today of the float progression.
Fox Los Angeles’ coverage today of the float progression.
K9s4COPs dedicates its inaugural Rose Parade float to the heroic law enforcement K9 Units across America and to the men and women who serve and protect our community. K9s4COPs, a non-profit foundation, is dedicated to gifting highly trained K9s trained and ready for action. The intent of our float is to honor our four legged guardians who risk their lives everyday and in most states are considered full-fledged police officers. Sitting atop a bed of roses is our larger than life K9 that resembles our mascot a King Shepherd, Johnny Cash. Floral ribbons run the length of the float with clusters of white stars and floral fireworks forming a backdrop to frame the float. Our founder Kristi Schiller and her family will be joined by selected officers and deputies with their K9s by their side. These officers will be selected from the over 50 K9s that have been gifted to 23 agencies in 9 states in our 2 ½ years as a non-profit.
Construction Height: 22 feet Construction Width: 18 feet Construction Length: 55 feet
The stately German shepherd is artistically decorated in a variety of seeds and grasses to create the realistic fur. These include dark brown nyjer seed and beige sesame seeds with accents of black pharmitas and golden pampas grass. Its protective vest is covered in onion seed. Ribbons of gold strawflower petals flow the length of the float with platforms created in cream colored ironed cornhusk and white coconut chips. Crisp white stars created in sweet rice and dendrobium orchid florets float over the lush red carpet gardens comprised of over 50,000 brilliant red Opium roses and red gerbera. Floral displays of intense orange, red and purple feature red ginger, Lobster Claw, Rostrata, Caribea and Parakeet heliconia, bird of paradise, leucadendron, liatris, roses and specialty anthuriums, Completing this spectacular entry are floral explosions created in thousands of yellow Oncidium orchids, roses and bird of paradise at the rear of the float.
“Dreams Come True” at the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. They really, really do.
I’m sitting here, with tears in my eyes, in awe of the sight before me in the staging warehouses of Fiesta Parade Floats as K9s4COPs comes to life in floral splendor. The K9s4COPs float honors those who work toward building safer communities—the gallant K9s and the men and women with whom they serve.
With my personal protection dog and constant companion Johnny Cash at my side, I’m watching with pride as he comes to life in meticulous detail. Lifelike fur made from seeds and grasses painstakingly placed in a 22-foot molded form—it’s somewhat surreal to look from the dog at my side to one coming to life before my eyes.
My dream is coming to life, and I’m overjoyed. And, it’s amazing to think that this is all born from tragedy three years ago….
Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Ted Dahlin will be riding with us on the float with K9 Daisy, but the officer he credits with saving his life—K9 Blek will be with us only in spirit.
Killed in action while chasing a robbery suspect in late December 2010, it was K9 Blek’s heroism and tragic loss that has brought us here today, to this moment. Come the morn of January 1, the world will learn of his gallant sacrifice and how many lives he has saved since his death.
K9 Blek’s death and Ted’s loss haunted me. A consummate animal lover, I knew and understood the dog and human bond. I knew I couldn’t repair the hole left by K9 Blek in Ted’s life, but I could make his memory worth something and make sure more K9s were available to keep our law enforcement officers and our communities safe.
Trained K9s don’t come cheap, ranging between $10,000 and $15,000. Through the generous donations, K9s4COPs has placed than 60 dogs to law enforcement agencies and school districts. When you consider that just one dog alone confiscated more than $6 million in drugs last year, imagine that times 60! They have a tremendous impact, from detecting drugs and explosives to protecting our children in schools—and making sure that officers go home to their families at night.
The Tournament of Roses Parade offers us an unprecedented opportunity to share with the world how value, how important K9s are to our communities. The parade offers K9s4COPs more exposure than we ever thought possible with nearly million attendees along the 5.5 mile long route to more than 100 million television viewers worldwide.
Not only is the Tournament of Roses Parade great for sharing our mission, it’s just plain old fashioned fun. It’s been a treasure to share this experience with my husband John and daughter Sinclair as well as my dedicated K9s4COPs team—P+R Productions President Jenna Jackson and her husband K9s4COPs board member Brendan Gilbert, K9s4COPs Executive Director Liz Lara Carreno and her husband Hector, Deputy Constable Dahlin and his wife Jackie and their children Emily and Cole, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sargent Mike Thomas and his wife Tamara, Mike and Brenda Tuttle, K9s4COPs board member Pam Mahoney and her husband, Tracy, Annie Kahn, board member Mark Spillard, my dear mother Jo-Jo Hoss, photographer Josh Welch, Jaz and Jason Stanze with Houston K9 Academy, K9s4COPs Operations Manager Melanie Orth and her husband Brady Boyd, the talented P+R Productions Team of Suzy and Anthony Jackson, Michael Spicer, Adrian Garcia, Matt Godwin, Chris Bell, Pierre Cardenas and Lauryn Sanford.
Our mornings start very early—at 4 .a.m.—in the last minute rush to finish the floats. The entire float is made entirely of flowers or plant material, and to survive through New Year’s Day, everything comes together at the last possible minute. Employees and volunteers, like the local Girl Scout troop, have worked seemingly around the clock to bring the float to life.
The day after Christmas we watched Johnny Cash’s alter ego get a base coat of Lentil seeds, onion seeds, toasted sesame seeds, Kelp and seaweed glued to the mold. By Friday evening, he had lifelike fur made of grasses.
We are surrounded by all manner of flowers—and magicians. There’s no other way to describe how these floats come to life. It’s magic. The time and detail is truly a labor of love.
It’s the fruition of Dahlin’s desire to make sure that he would make things right after Blek’s death. It’s the fruition of my dream to help him make that possible, and make our communities safer for others.
It’s dreams coming true before the world.
Rose Parade Float Celebrates Police K9 Charity
|Sgt. Mike Thomas says his police dog Tamra and 15 other police dogs donated to his Harris County Police Department in Texas by K9s4COPs has made a huge difference in combating rampant drug trafficking in the Houston area and keeping officers safe.|
“Before we got these dogs we had only 8 dogs to patrol the Houston area, which has become a hub of drug activity and transport nationwide,’’ says Sgt. Mike Thomas, who will ride atop the K9s4COPs float with his donated police dog Tamra. “With so few dogs, we were stretched too thin. It was like trying to spread a teaspoon of peanut butter across a slice of bread.’’
“In the past year just one of these dogs confiscated $6 million worth of drugs, and it cost us $10,000 to donate that trained dog,’’ Schiller says. “You do the math. Then multiply that by 16, the number of dogs we have donated in the Houston area alone, and you can imagine what a major impact that is having, and trained dogs are needed across the United States, and in countries around the world, from detecting explosives to protecting our children in schools.’’
In just over two years the foundation has donated more than 65 K9s to 23 police agencies in nine states. The dogs are specifically trained to assist law enforcement in their work and cost $10,000 to $15,000, which the foundation raises through donations.
K9s4COPs dedicates its inaugural Rose Parade float to the heroic law enforcement K9 Units across America and to the men and women who serve and protect our community. Sitting atop a bed of roses is a larger-than-life K9 that resembles the organization’s mascot a King Shepherd, Johnny Cash. Founder Kristi Schiller, her husband John and daughter Sinclair will be joined by selected officers and deputies with their K9s by their side, representing K9s that have been donated by the organization.
Police dogs are in widespread use a variety of duties, including drug, explosives, and weapon detection and missing person searches. In many jurisdictions police dogs are full-fledged police officers, often with their own badges.
“In our part of the country many officers ride alone, rather than with a partner, so having a K9 partner gives a police officer an extra measure of security,’’ says Deputy Constable Ted Dahlin. “An officer’s family knows he or she has a better chance of coming home safely with that dog by his side.’’
California here we come! Everyone knows I love Southern California, but I absolutely CANNOT wait to head to Pasadena for the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade this New Year’s Day!
I’m simply OVER THE MOON that K9s4COPs was honored by the Tournament of Roses Association with a float entry to the Rose Parade. The theme for the 125th Tournament is “Dreams Come True,” rather apropos for what K9s4COPs has accomplished in just three short years. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have gifted 50 K9s to 23 agencies since 2011.
The Tournament of Roses offers us an unprecedented opportunity to share K9s4COPs with the masses. The parade itself will have more than 700,000 in attendance andmore than 840,000 online viewers, and it will be televised before 74 million!
We—my husband John, daughter Sinclair and I, along with K9s4COPs Executive Director Liz Lara Carreno, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ted Dahlin, whose tragic loss of his K9 partner Blek inspired the creation of the foundation, and Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Thomas —have the grand honor riding the K9s4COPs float with a 55-foot tall replica of my personal protection dog Johnny Cash, a King Shepherd, in full K9 protective gear.
Award- winning Fiesta Parade Floats has constructed our entry entitled, “Working Together For Safer Communities.” They’re also constructing a float for Miracle-Gro, which I’m sure they’re going to need to complete ours! In keeping with tradition, the entire float—even Johnny Cash’s fur and Kevlar vest, is made entirely of flowers – or seeds and grasses rather.
Our inaugural Rose Parade float is dedicated to the heroic law enforcement K9 units across America and the men and women in blue who work so hard to keep our communities safe.
I am so honored to have K9s4COPs be a part of the time-honored American tradition, and I think John said something about a football game???
River Oaks makes the Rose Bowl parade: Are you ready for a 22-foot-tall German shepherd?
When the floats begin rolling down the streets of Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day, K9s4COPs will be among the 45 entries in the 125th annual Rose Parade. It will be the only Texas non-profit represented along the 5.5 mile course.
The coup was the brainchild of K9s4COPs founder Kristi Schiller, who felt that the parade with an estimated one billion viewers would be an effective way to expand the K9 audience nationally and internationally. Financed through private donations, the float featuring a larger-than-life German shepherd is designed by Tim Estes, owner of Fiesta Parade Floats. That company has won the Sweepstakes award for best design in each of the last 20 years. Kristi and John Schiller and their daughter, Sinclair, will ride the float along with K9s4COPs mascot Johnny Cash (the pooch serves as the Schillers’ personal protection dog). Joining them will be K9s executive director Liz Lara-Carreno, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Deputy Ted Dahlin and K9 Daisy and Harris County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Mike Thomas with K9 Tamara.
Decorative flowers will include 50,000 roses to comprise the lush red carpet gardens.
The 22-foot tall stately German shepherd that is focal point of the float will be covered in a variety of seeds and grasses to create a realistic look of fur. (Black onion and beige sesame seeds with accents of pharmitas and pampas grass and nyjer seed on the “protective” vest are employed in the design.) An interesting design feature — the dog “folds” from its full height down to 16 feet, allowing the float to pass under low wires and a freeway bridge.
Decorative flowers will include 50,000 roses to comprise the lush red carpet gardens, plus floral displays of orange, red and purple in red ginger, Lobster Claw, Rostrata, Caribaea and Parakeet heliconia, bird of paradise, leucadendron, liatris, roses and specialty anthuriums. In addition, thousands of Oncidium orchids, roses and bird of paradise will decorate the rear of the float.
1. Jason Prince and K9 Duce, 43
2. Alex Chapa and K9 Rocco, 42
3. Dennis Shadden and K9 Ronnie, 36
4. George Love and K9 Gerard, 35
5. Michael Jordan and K9 Brico, 27