HOUSTON -- There will be a big dog in this year's Rose Bowl Parade. It will be 22 feet tall and is part of the K9'S 4 COPS float. The organization is based in Houston.
They won a coveted spot in the big parade after applying the first time.
"We didn't realize this initially but once you're picked you have a float for life if you choose to keep it," said Jenna Jackson, the Director of Communications for K9'S 4COPS.
K9'S 4 COPS is the only group from Texas to have a float in the parade. The organization was founded just three years ago.
It began after a Houston woman saw a story on the news about a Harris County Precinct 4 K-9 named Blek that cornered a suspect in the woods.
"The dog ran off looking for the suspect and the suspect ended up actually choking K-9 Blek," said Melanie Orth, Operations Manager of K9'S 4 COPS.
Watching the story, Kristi Schiller was determined to do something.
"I tried to give a dog. It wasn't that easy to replace one and hence, K9's 4 COPS was born," she said.
The group pays for specialized dogs to be brought in from Europe to protect and serve in America.
"In that short time we've given over 50 dogs to schools and law enforcement agencies across the country," Jackson said.
"I made (Blek) a promise that I would make things right," said Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Ted Dahlin who had the dog as his K9 partner. "Never imagined that something like this would come from that," he said, referring to the founding of K9'S 4 COPS and now its presence in the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.
As an added bonus the float will include nine real dogs which amounts to some pretty good extra security along the parade route in Pasadena, California.
For more information on the organization visit: k9s4cops.org