Novus Medical Detox Center Joins Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Honoring Local Student for K-9 Contributions

Share Article

In recognition of second-grader’s efforts to raise funds for K-9 bulletproof vests, Novus Medical Detox Center presented Sophia Contino with an award and contributed $2,400 to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for the purchase of additional K-9 vests.

From left to right: Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, Sophia Contino, 8, and Novus Medical Detox's Kent Runyon.

As a medical detox facility, Novus is dedicated to the wellbeing of individuals and families within our community. The same can be said of Pasco County’s K-9s, who put their lives on the line every day to safeguard area residents and uphold the law.

Upon learning that local K-9 units lacked proper protective equipment, 8-year-old Wesley Chapel resident Sophia Contino set out to raise money through lemonade stands and online fundraising. Inspired by her efforts, Novus Medical Detox Center—a leading Florida-based drug treatment facility—approached the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to organize an award ceremony for the Sand Pine Elementary student and make their own contribution to the cause.

Community leaders, law enforcement officers and local news media gathered at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office on January 28, 2016, to celebrate Contino’s efforts to help outfit the K-9 unit’s dogs with bulletproof vests. Kent Runyon, Novus’ Vice President of Community Relations, presented the Pasco Sheriff’s K-9 Association with a check for $2,400 to purchase three bulletproof vests for the department’s canine deputies. In addition, Runyon and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco both presented Contino with awards to honor her ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funds for the county’s four-legged crime fighters.

“As a medical detox facility, Novus is dedicated to the wellbeing of individuals and families within our community. The same can be said of Pasco County’s K-9s, who put their lives on the line every day to safeguard area residents and uphold the law,” said Runyon. “Sophia inspired us with her selfless efforts to protect these brave animals from the dangers they face in the line of duty, and we are honored to join her in supporting the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to ensure all dogs within the K-9 unit are properly equipped for their work.”

Contino gratefully accepted her awards and remarked, “I am proud, and I feel happy to raise money for something I really care about.” Her father, Jason Contino, first learned of the K-9 unit’s need for bulletproof vests through his involvement with the Greater Wesley Chapter Chamber of Commerce; and when he shared the news with his family, Sophia volunteered to help. “It’s beyond what we anticipated,” said Jason Contino of his daughter’s accomplishments. “This is definitely a proud moment.”*

Sheriff Nocco credited Sophia Contino with making “a huge impact” and stated, “The need [for vests] is absolutely great. Our K-9 unit is expanding. Every day, we have to hunt bad people down, looking for missing kids and adults. We, as deputies, have Kevlar, but our K-9s don’t.” As a result of Contino’s fundraising and Novus’ subsequent donation toward K-9 bulletproof vests, “our dogs and community will be safer” Nocco added.*

The award ceremony and financial contribution to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office are the latest in Novus’ ongoing community outreach initiatives. Runyon affirmed his organization’s continuing commitment to improve the lives of individuals within and beyond the local community. Through its individually customized and medically supervised detox programs, Novus has helped many patients embark on the road to recovery and successfully overcome substance use disorders and dependency.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center and its proven alcohol and drug treatment programs, visit

About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center is a Joint Commission Accredited inpatient medical detox facility. Novus offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Florida, Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient. By incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment, Novus tailors the detox process for each patient, putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry and their local community, ranking number 48 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 3,399 on the 2015 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit

  • Fox, Geoff. “Pasco Girl’s Lemonade Sales Help Pay for Bulletproof Vests for K9 Units”; The Tampa Tribune; January 30, 2016.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Karla Jo Helms
+1 (888) 202-4614 Ext: 802
Email >
Visit website