BERLIN — With just some rope and lacrosse balls, an 8-year-old girl is on a mission to create toys for police dogs across the state.
Mia Phinney, of New Britain, started making the toys after meeting Berlin Police K9 Officer Aimee Krzykowski at a fundraiser for the officer’s cancer treatment.
After she dropped the toys at the Police Department, Krzykowski suggested she create toys with rope and lacrosse balls that canine officers learn to make while in training. Officers use the toys for fetch and tug-of-war.
Since then, Phinney has made toys for other departments around the state, including Farmington, New Haven, Wilton and state police.
Dogs are her favorite animal and have always been a major part of her life, Phinney said. Eventually she would love to work with them, possibly even as a police officer, she added.
“It would definitely take a lot of work and a lot of skills to be able to (be a K9 officer),” she said.
Denney Phinney, her father, is proud to see her find a passion at such a young age. It has also taught her a lot about police officers and their canine partners.
“All the officers we've met so far have been so welcoming of what she’s doing,” he said.
Krzykowski said Casner plays with his new toy every day and she hopes to see Phinney continue to make toys for canines.
“To be able to help out these police dogs...It’s a great goal that she's come up,” Krzykowski said. “I'm amazed with the interactions that she’s been able to have. It’s a good thing for children to be able to interact with police officers and see them in a positive light.”
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