Sergeant Knowlton grew up in Minnesota, coping with a a mother addicted to narcotics and alcohol. One day, a local officer who had heard of the Chris’ home-issues, offered him his personal phone number with a promise “if you ever need me, call me”. Knowlton found himself dialing the his number shortly after, when he found his mother over dosing on heroin. As promised, the officer personally came out and removed him from the dangerous environment and sought a safe haven for the young boy — eventually being placed in the hands of family in Texas. With this new beginning and new found hope, Chris Knowlton embarked on a journey to “impact someone the way [he] was impacted”, that is by becoming a police officer.
Chris has worked hard at Center Texas Police Department, serving as a patrol officer, narcotics detective, and newly appointed Sergeant. Accompanying these achievements, in 2016, he was gifted K9 Elliot by The Reel ‘Em In Foundation, founded by Minnesota Viking player Brian Robison. Chris felt an extra special connection towards this gifting, given his Minnesota upbringing, saying “I was raised loving the Minnesota Vikings, and here I was given a K9 by a Viking player himself. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to me, it just shows that everything happens for a reason. This was a true blessing.”
Since their union, K9 Elliot and Sergeant Knowlton have made a significant impact on their community. “Center has a larger crime rate in narcotics coupled by a low income rate, so there is a high need for a narcotics dog in our area. Word on the street about [K9] Elliot spread quickly, because he had to be deployed multiple times within the first couple of days of being on duty.”
Not only have the pair successfully tackled crime in Center, but they have also managed to break barriers with the community’s youth. “At a young age, these kids are raised to not trust us. But when your walking around with a dog, these children stop and like to ask questions about the K9. [K9] Elliot has helped to knock down these perceived barriers and allow me to start building relationships with this next generation.”
In the words of Sergeant Chris Knowlton, K9 Elliot is a hero, peace-maker, and his “best friend”. From their first encounter, Houston K9 Academy trainers Jazz and Jason said that they had never seen a canine bond as quickly as K9 Elliot did with Knowlton. “I never expected to fall in love with a K9 the way I have with Elliot. He’s my best friend, there’s no doubt”.
“I owe so much to K9s4COPs for everything they have done for me, and for connecting me to the Brian Robison Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Everything happens for a reason, and this whole process has just been a huge blessing for me.”
THANK YOU SERGEANT CHRIS KNOWLTON!
K9 Apo Honored by AKC
K-9 Apo was re certified in explosive detection on 3-24-17 by NPCA, and continues to be one of the best bomb dogs Delaware County has ever seen. On April 8th, he received an award from the AKC for his high honor of being a war veteran and doing many demos for Delaware County!
THANK YOU K9 APO!
Brian Robison’s Reel ‘Em In Fishing Tournament Donates ALL Proceeds to K9s4COPs!
Pictured: Deputy Ted Dahlin, Sergeant Chris Knowlton with K9 Elliot, and DE Minnesota Viking’s player Brian Robison
We are incredibly grateful partner with the Brian Robison Reel ’em In Foundation fishing tournament! We enjoyed coming out to demonstrate what our K9s do best and partake in the festivities.
A huge thank you to Brian and Jayme Robison for putting on such an amazing event and contributing so much to K9s4COPs!
Click here to read more about the event and see more pictures!
K9s4COPs Celebrates Deputy Madison Sperry & K9 Leman’s Graduation!
A huge thank you our executive board member Laurie Krohn, Krohn Racing, and Valobra Master Jewelers for hosting a post-grad celebration for K9 LeMans and Deputy Sperry. We are so proud of our graduates and cannot wait to see the positive impact these two make on our community!
Congratulations to Deputy Sperry & K9 LeMans, Deputy Johnson & K9 Lethal, and Deputy Jones & K9 Bax for GRADUATING from Houston K9 Academy today! We are so excited to see the impact these officers will make in their community.
Cast a Line for a REEL Good Cause
SAVE THE DATE!
This year, NFL athletes and pro-bass anglers will come together on April 1-2 at Sam Rayburn Lake for an open fishing tournament, live and silent auction, an indulgent VIP dinner and an opportunity to mix and mingle with athletes and anglers such as Adrian Peterson, Terence Newman, Mike Iaconelli and Keith Combs to benefit K9s4COPs!
K9s4COPs at the first annual
Spirit of Texas Festival!
A big thank you to Sheriff Ed Gonzales of the Harris Country Sheriff’s office for allowing K9s Ziko and Kyra, and their handlers Deputy Ted Dahlin and Sergeant Chris Moore, to host a live demonstration at the Spirit of Texas Festival.
Click here to see a video of the live demonstration!
K9s4COPs Takes a Bite Out of Competition at Houston Rodeo
Hard Dog Fast Dog CHAMPION:
7 Years Old
Dual purpose explosive/patrol canine
Handler Deputy Bryan Collins
When you think of the Houston Rodeo, super fast, long jumping dogs aren’t normally what comes to mind. Tuesday night though, K9s4COPs brought out 12 K-9 officers to show off their speed and power in the Hard Dog/Fast Dog Exhibition. The competition shows K-9 officers being released to tackle decoys, and they’re judged by how fast they reach the suspect and how they commit to the bite
Six Years of Making a Difference
Tomorrow, March 25th, K9s4COPs will be celebrating SIX YEARS of gifting K9 partners to agencies that don’t have it in their budget.
Six years ago, it started with one K9 officer — Now we’re approaching almost 150 K9s in 31 states! We couldn’t have done it without YOUR support and donations. Thank you for joining us in the fight against crime!
Birthday gifts? Although our K9s would love a Kong or treat, they would rather have your generous support to continue our mission! If you would like to contribute to K9s4COPs, feel free to hit the donation link below. Thank you!
A big shoutout to Officer K9 Beny, who alerted $16,000 on I-10 East!
Show a Little Love This February
In the spirit of Valentine’s Week, K9s4COPs is introducing a fundraising campaign aimed to spread the love!
Each day leading up to Valentine’s Day, K94COPs is releasing a special K9 that you can “adopt” as your Valentine with a $90 donation. Your chosen K9 will then send you a special K9s4COPs care package, including a custom signed card and photo thanking you!
K9 Officers and their partners enjoyed keeping this year’s Super Bowl safe, while sniffing for narcotics, weapons, and explosives. Thanks to the real MVPs, Super Bowl LI was a huge success and no K9s were responsible for deflated footballs!
The Gifting of Two K9 Officers
K9s4COPs is proud to be a part of this year’s American Rodeo! Join us February 19th, to watch us gift two of our latest dogs. For tickets, please click here. Use the code “K9s4Cops”, for a special BUY ONE TICKET GET ONE 1/2 OFF discount, starting now thru Feb. 19.
A New Texas Tradition, Benefitting K9s4COPs
Join us March 2nd-5th, at the first annual Spirit of Texas Festival!
This annual 4-day charity event held at the Wolf Pen Creek (College Station, Texas), will benefit K9s4COPs, Ronald McDonald House and other local charities. We will have live demonstrations and a booth set up, so make sure to come out and support this wonderful cause!
It’s Rodeo Time!
It’s almost March, meaning it’s Houston Rodeo time!
March 7th at 6pm, K9s4COPs will be doing a live demonstration at the annual Houston Rodeo. Our officers are excited and the K9s are revved up. Make sure to grab your rodeo tickets here, and mark your calendars to see our K9s in action!
Congrats to K9s4COPs’ founder Kristi Schiller, who is being honored as a “Harvey’s Hero” Thursday on the “Steve Harvey Show.” The talk show airs at 3 p.m. on KRIV, Fox 26.
In 2010 Schiller founded the nonprofit group that supplies crime-fighting dogs to police departments around the country.
“In Houston alone,” she tells Harvey, “our K9s have resulted in over 400 arrests and taken $3.5 million worth of cash and over 85 weapons off the streets. We had one dog, in one night, do a $23 million bust. Why would you not want that for your department?”
Tight law enforcement budgets are to blame, she knows. That’s why she decided to step in with private funds.
“At K9s4COPs,” she tells the TV audience, “we feel that your safety shouldn’t be hindered, your streets should not be less safe, because of a budget cut.”
To date, Schiller and her organization have given 89 trained dogs to law enforcement agencies in 19 states. Of the eight officers who appear on stage to thank Schiller for her work, one is Ted Dahlin, an investigator for Harris County Constable Precinct 4.
Schiller was inspired to start K9s4Cops when she learned that Dahlin’s police dog, Blek, was killed in the line of duty. Without her help, Dahlin would have had to raise $10,000 to $15,000 to buy a new police dog.
Thursday, K9s4COPs takes over Chicago for the ‘Steve Harvey Show’!
K9s4COPs Founder, Kristi Schiller, receives the honor of being named a “Harvey’s Hero” on Thursday’s episode of the ‘Steve Harvey Show’. Little did Schiller know, there were nine K9 teams from across the country that were coming to surprise her and thank her for starting the organization that enabled them to get their K9 partner.
Between the tears, barking and laughter, Schiller explains her inspiration for K9s4COPs (Spoiler alert: He surprises her, too.) how K9s4COPs has grown, the impact they have had in your communities, and how you can help out!
On March 25, K9s4COPs celebrates their 4 year anniversary!
In this short amount of time, they have granted 83 K9s to 53 agencies and 5 schools in 17 states and removed $50 million worth of contraband & cash from the streets of your communities.
They don’t stop there though. In December, K9s4COPs partnered with AMK9 Academy in Alabama to place returning “Hero Dogs” from Afghanistan into police departments and has now successfully placed ten Afghan dogs. One of these Hero Dogs, K9 Fox, has even been nominated for the American Humane Society’s 2015 Hero Dog Awards.
Due to all the great work that K9s4COPs has done in their home state of Texas, and all across the country, the State of Texas is recognizing March 26, 2015 as ‘K9s4COPs Day‘. Founder Kristi Schiller will be honored in front of the House and Senate sessions on the morning of Thursday, March 26 at the Texas Capitol in Austin, TX. K9s4COPs’ K9 Gus with Travis County Sheriff’s Office will also be in attendance to represent the organization. Gus is a Dual Purpose Narcotics K9 and was granted to TCSO in 2013. Gus passed all his certifications in July 2014 and since then has removed $60,000 in cash, $10,000 in narcotics, one apprehension and three firearms from the streets of Travis County.
K9s4COPs grants Austin County Sheriff’s Office with their only police K9, Jack, a single purpose narcotics detection dog.
K9 Jack with Austin County Sheriff’s Office, granted by K9s4COPs.
In 2014, K9s4COPs partnered up with AMK9 Academy in Alabama, to place returning “Hero Dogs” from Afghanistan into law enforcement agencies across the country.
Austin County Sheriff’s Office applied for K9s4COPs’ grant and received the exciting news that their application had been accepted in December 2014. In January, Deputy John Fullen headed to AMK9 Academy for six weeks to select and train with his new partner. After working with three other dogs, Fullen selected K9 Jack and the two graduated from training on February 6, 2015.
K9 Jack has since “hit the streets” of Austin County with his handler, patrolling over 20 miles of highway and has already gone on four deployments in his first two weeks.
“Jack has come in at a time when we have not had a canine designated for Austin County. There is a strong need for a narcotics canine and he is definitely fulfilling that need and service that we have been without for about two years. Everyday that we have been on duty, Jack has been called out. Having him just gives us that extra tool to catch any money or drugs going up and down our highway and community.” –Deputy John Fullen
K9s4COPs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that grants K9s to law enforcement agencies and schools in need. In 4 years, the organization has granted 82 K9s to 50 agencies and 5 schools in 17 states. Each K9 costs between $10,000-$15,000, depending on their purpose. The grant provided by K9s4COPs pays for the cost of the K9, as well as the training for the officer and his K9 partner. To learn more about K9s4COPs or to donate, please visit www.K9s4COPs.org.
Deputy John Fullen and K9 Jack with Austin County Sheriff’s Office and Kristi Schiller, Founder of K9s4COPs on February 23, 2015 at the Austin County Courthouse.
Watching a news broadcast about a grief-stricken Houston-area deputy who lost his K9 partner during a struggle with a suspect, the reporter mentioned there wasn’t enough money to give the officer a replacement pup. A self-described lover of both dogs and law enforcement, Schiller dug into her own pocket to pay for a new K9 partner for the deputy. That was four years and sixty dogs ago.
Ruff Times: Woman Donates K9s to Cops
Police K9’s do important work, no one disputes that, but many police and sheriff’s departments are cash crunched and have been forced to cut K9s from the budget. The highly trained dogs can cost upwards of $15,000, just for the initial purchase. Schiller saw a need and vowed to fill it. She started K9s4COPS, a non-profit organization that buys and trains the dogs and then gives them away to law enforcement officers. Her first fundraiser was in her backyard. She began knocking on corporate doors all over Texas, asking for donations.
“Kristi Schiller is not a gal you say no to,” says a friend who became a supporter.
Any law enforcement agency can apply and Schiller has enlisted a handful of deputies and police officers who review the applications once a quarter and make recommendations. Those who receive good news travel to Houston to choose and train with their K9 partner before returning home as a team. Schiller’s dogs are now fighting crime in 17 states.
Pasadena, Texas Police Office Mark Brinker received his K9 partner, Austin, in January.
“It would be a whole different show without him,” Brinker says.
Schiller deflects the credit, “It’s amazing what they’ve done with what little I’ve given them.”
Instead, she wants to tell you about her next challenge, giving dogs to schools. The mom of a young daughter, Schiller has launched K9s4KIDS and has given away six so far to promote what she calls a safe learning environment.