Dogs are often the first line of defense in war, and in law enforcement. That has not gone unnoticed by a retired Navy SEAL whose mission is to help protect these canine protectors.

His efforts are helping one of our local K9 officers and his handler.

Trained K9s can find guns in the grass, hunt down fugitives, and of course protect their handlers. Sadly, they often lose their lives in service, but not as often if retired Navy SEAL, Jimmy Hatch can help it.

Hatch, who lives in Virginia Beach, said he will never forget the dog that gave his life in combat so that he could live. “My first work dog was named Spike and he was killed in 2006 in Iraq,” he said.

Now, he’s thanking the many K9s who made the ultimate sacrifice through SpikesK9fund, a non-profit that raises money to provide gear and care for working dogs.