The New York City Police Foundation recently released its annual Canine and Friends calendar for 2023 to kick off the new year and raise money for the NYPD.
As always, the calendar features cute photos of the department’s four-legged members, along with some of New York’s finest officers.
“The New York City Police Foundation is just honored to be able to support New York’s finest and New York’s furriest,” Executive Director of New York City Police Foundation Gregg Roberts said. “We do the calendar every year. It’s a wonderful thing to not only celebrate these wonderful animals that do so much for the city, but we also get to raise money through the calendar to support the programs.”
Roberts explained the importance of celebrating NYPD’s canine and equine officers.
“These animals are the front line every day. They’re sniffing out explosives. They’re protecting the subways. They’re doing counterterrorism. And they’re even supporting the emotional well-being of the officers with therapy dogs.”
CBS2’s Ali Bauman met with the heroes of the photoshoot, including mounted patrol unit mustang Gomez, who is “Mr. May” in this year’s calendar.
“I brush him, I pick his feet, I bridle him, saddle him and we go out on patrol,” Officer Jessica Olivieri told Bauman.
“Why is having a mounted unit so important as opposed to just regular patrol cars?” Bauman asked.
“Honestly, community … It’s easier for them to talk to us because of the horses. The horses draw everyone in,” Olivieri replied.
Also featured in the calendar are the pups of the Transit Bureau Canine Unit that patrol the subway system, and therapy dogs with the NYPD EAU unit.
The calendar’s cover features therapy dogs Glory, Piper and Jenny, who were brought on last year to provide mental health resources for employees in the wake of a series of officer suicides.
“Putting these three therapy dogs on this calendar is a huge step forward in breaking the stigma of mental health,” said Mark Wachter, commanding officer of the NYPD Health and Wellness section.
Detective and K-9 handler Kaitlin Shamberger was also featured in the calendar with her partner Zada.
“We’ve been together five years, she’s amazing. Anything that Zada and I can do to help spread good things and have good things for this department is definitely something that we are always aiming for.”
At $30 apiece, sales of the calendar typically bring in $30,000, with the proceeds going to support NYPD’s mounted patrol and K-9 units.
The New York City Police Foundation, which publishes the calendar, is an independent nonprofit that raises money to support NYPD programs and initiatives.
According to Roberts, the foundation was instrumental in keeping the department’s mounted unit going.
“One of our first programs back in the 1970s was the Mounted Unit. The city was going through financial problems, they were gonna get rid of the unit. We got every horse for the Mounted Unit for 20 years,” he said.