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Zak lay at his master’s feet watching the myriad people and other dogs walk by. He panted, but was soundless and obedient as his handler, Larry Johnson of the Santa Paula Police Department, spoke to passers-by.
“He’s one of the bigger dogs in the county,” said Johnson. “He’s 95 pounds and can be intimidating.” Johnson and Zak were part of the first Dining with the Dogs event at the Camarillo Ranch House in Camarillo. Sponsored by the National Police Dog Foundation along with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit and Sheriff’s Department K-9 Search and Rescue, the event drew more than 600 people and tickets for the dinner and auction event sold out.
Kamloops RCMP Const. Dave Lewis and police-service dog Zak were heroes on the weekend when they found a missing toddler who had wandered into the hills of Kenna Cartwright Park.
Zak didn’t take long to find the youngster asleep in the Dufferin park after wandering from a backyard.
On Sunday, March 27, a Vancouver family arrived in Kamloops to visit friends at the house in Dufferin. Their two children — ages 21 months and four years — went into the backyard of the home to play.
At some point, police say, the younger brother wandered off into the woods adjacent to the home. Police were called at about 9 p.m.
The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is welcoming a new officer to the force. His name is Zak and he’s a K-9.
The German Sheppard was introduced Thursday and comes to Celina, Ohio from the Czech Republic.
The Stratford Rotary Club is sponsoring a benefit for the Stratford Police K-9 program Friday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stratford Library.
The wine tasting will also feature hors d’oeuvres provided by Vazzy’s.
Tickets are $20.00 per person and may be purchased at the door or in advance at the Stratford Library or by calling Diane Puterski at 203-385-4055.
Funds will help Stratford Police obtain and train a dog to replace the late K-9 officer Zak, and add a third dog to the force.
Zak the police dog may be retired from the Arroyo Grande Police Department where he served five years as a search, protection and drug-sniffing dog, but that doesn’t mean the program is ending.
“There are no health issues,” Cmdr. John Hough said of Zak’s retirement. “But to have any reasonable retirement — the kind I’d like to have after I retire — we’re letting him retire now.
“But it is a valuable asset, and we don’t want the dog to go away — if the community will support it with the funds we need for a new dog,” he said.
Sgt. Kevin McBride, the department’s previous K-9 officer, said the cost of the dog alone can run as high as $8,000.
“We cross-train them in search, protection and narcotics,” McBride said, and that means an additional $3,500 for search training and another $3,500 for narcotics training.
Zak’s partner Senior Officer Kimberely Martin said the department’s dogs have come from Whitmore-Tyson Kennels in Menlo Park, which maintains kennels throughout Europe for recruiting and training police dogs.
Foreign-trained dogs are used for police work because they respond to commands in other languages, which makes it more difficult for suspects to control the dogs, and that contributes to the dogs’ costs.
Hough said the department intends to hold a fundraising campaign to help pay for a new dog, although plans haven’t been firmed up yet.
He added, “We’d love to have someone just hand us the money, but … .”
The https://positiveleo.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpdepartment is currently conducting personnel tests to select a new dog handler. Once funding is found, the handler will be matched with a dog at the kennels, and the training will begin.
The best-case scenario could put a new K-9 team on the streets by late fall, Hough said.
Anyone interesting in helping the department finance a new police dog can contact Hough at 473-5126.