PITTSBURGH — A little girl from Mckeesport on the mission to help police K9's locally is now helping departments across the country.
Seven-year-old Peyton Estochin dreams of one day being a K9 officer.
"I love dogs," said Peyton.
Her mission to help them started in August of 2018 with a sweet tea stand. McKeesport K-9 officer, Farkle, was diagnosed with cancer, and Peyton wanted to help pay for the medical expenses. She raised $700 in two hours. The buzz around that first event drove Peyton to host a hot chocolate stand in January of 2019. She sold 10-gallons of hot chocolate and raised $2400.
"They had a $9000 vet bill, with the sweet tea and hot chocolate stand, she did two events and raised $3000 to give back, so that's how it started, just locally," said Peyton's mom, Jessica Estochin.
Peyton moved from selling drinks to t-shirts and key chains. In the past year, she's raised more than $15,000, all going to help unfunded K9 Units here and across the U.S.
"She puts in the day to day effort, who are we helping next, are we shipping shirts out, helps with design, and everything," said Estochin. "She gets excited when we get stuff in, she has ideas too, she is definitely the boss, we're her chauffeur."
The newly formed non-profit, Peyton's K-9's donated to about 15 departments and counting. That includes New Kensington's newest four-legged officer, Duece, who shares a nickname with fallen Officer Brian Shaw. Shaw died in the line of duty in 2017. Duece was donated to the department by Shaw's family.
"We're giving him a cooling vest," said Peyton.
Duece's partner, Officer Joe Martino, worked with Officer Shaw and he's thankful for Duece and Peyton's support.
"A dream come true for me, especially with the events that happened, it's like having my friend back and my partner back," said Martino. "The things she is doing for the local department and us is just remarkable."
Peyton's K9's is making us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.
Peyton's K9 plans to be at the Mutt Strut in September and plans to have a big birthday bash in December.
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