Fayette man sells T-shirts to raise funds for ailing Armstrong K-9
A Perryopolis man will be selling shirts he designed to help get Armstrong County's injured police dog Klif back on his feet.
Tim Beachy, 45, an artist and dog lover, lives miles away from Armstrong County but said he read the story about Officer Klif on Triblive.com and wanted to help out. The offer — which if successful could cover nearly half the cost of the dog's medical care to treat an injured disc in his back — took Klif's handler, Detective Mark Heider, by surprise.
“He did this completely on his own, and then let me know he was going to do it,” Heider said. “I don't know what to say, other than I just really appreciate that he's reaching out to help us.”
The shirts designed by Beachy are black and have a picture of Klif in the center, with his name across the top and Heider's below it. T-shirts sell for $24 and hooded sweatshirts for $47. The artist will donate all proceeds from the sales — $18 per T-shirt and $24 for each sweatshirt — to the Armstrong County DA K-9 Fund.
“I hope we can sell well above and beyond 150 shirts for Klif,” Beachy said.
The 8-year-old German shepherd who works out of the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office is projected to have medical bills exceeding $5,500 for the ruptured disc that was discovered in early April while on a bomb search at West Shamokin High School. Donations of $2,500 have been made to the K-9 Fund that was opened on Thursday at the Farmers & Merchants Bank.
Klif has been responding well to steroid treatment and rest but is far from out of the woods, Heider said.
“We're not going to know if he needs surgery until we get the MRI results,” Heider said. “I think it's the steroids and not working that's putting less stress on him. But he's in no way, shape or form capable of going back to work.”
Helping Klif get back on his feet is not the first effort Beachy has made in support of K-9 units in the region. He has been selling shirts in memory of Rocco — the Pittsburgh Police K-9 officer stabbed to death in the line of duty in January — to benefit a nonprofit that outfits police dogs with bulletproof vests.
Beachy, the owner of A Breed Apart Clothing, an online T-shirt shop specializing in purebred dog-themed clothing, said he sells merchandise to benefit charities such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“I hope there's still the public that wants to reach out and help another K-9 and officer in need,” Beachy said.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or firstname.lastname@example.org.