In a touching moment earlier this week, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy Zachary Oliver – the handler for Graffit, the K-9 killed in the line of duty last month – delivered donated supplies to the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden.
After Graffit’s death, donations poured into the sheriff’s office, both in donations straight to the agency and through gifts sent to a donation drive held by the Colorado School of Mines. Graffit was fatally shot while pursuing an armed suspect near the The School of Mines campus on Feb. 13.
The sheriff’s office, though, couldn’t use many of the gifts it received. Oliver brought some of those gifts – including dog food, toys and other supplies – to the animal shelter.
#PayingItForward - When K9 Handler, Deputy Oliver, lost #K9Graffit, he was overwhelmed w/ beautiful cards and gifts. Many gifts were items for dogs that could not be used by our K9 team. Deputy Oliver wanted to help other dogs so he made a trip to @FAShelter (1/2) #communitylove pic.twitter.com/8XUclzJiFG— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) March 3, 2023
We spoke with Lisa Feldman, who works in marketing and development for Foothills Animal Shelter, about the special delivery.
“It was just a very moving moment for all of us,” she said. “When [deputy] Oliver came in with his colleagues and dropped off his donations, it was incredibly heartfelt, and just made that connection between [the shelter and] our community – how we help each other, certainly in times of sorrow, and then passing that on to our pets.”
During the delivery, a Foothills representative brought Daniela, a shepherd mix, to Oliver in a “particularly moving” tribute to Graffit, as Feldman described it.
“[Foothills Animal Shelter] staff brought out a cute puppy to tempt Deputy Oliver, but he is saving his heart for a new K9 dog down the road,” the sheriff’s office posted on Twitter.
(2/2) In addition, @coschoolofmines held a donation drive in honor of Graffit, to benefit @FAShelter. FAS staff brought out a cute puppy to tempt Deputy Oliver, but he is saving his heart for a new K9 dog down the road. (Puppies like this are available for adoption right now!)♥️ pic.twitter.com/qupcwMpTra— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) March 3, 2023
Feldman said the shelter serves 9,000 pets per year and is always in need of supplies, beds, food, blankets, toys and more.
“We take those gifts with open arms,” she said.