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The Street


K9 Dogs do What no Machine or Human Can

Budget cuts are a primary concern for Law Enforcement as it is the single most expensive cost to local municipalities. K9 units are one of the first to feel the pinch, explains Kristi Schiller, Founder of K9s4COPs, a non-profit formed to address the need for funding the purchase of K9s for law enforcement agencies. The dogs are crucial to police departments due to their ability to work through simple problems that are more complicated for humans, their sense of smell to detect people, drugs and contraband in a more efficient, cost-saving way, and most importantly, to protect, and in some cases, save the lives of the officers. While pilot programs are in place to test devices from companies such as Taser International and GOPRO, K9 units provide a service no human or machine can to supplement and enhance law enforcement.

Watch the video here.

K9 Mexx at Harriman’s Night Out Against Crime

A going away party for crime? That’s how the Harriman Police Department is describing their annual Night Out Against Crime event at the Riverfront Park. It’s a time for the Harriman community and the police department to team up against crime in their neighborhoods. For nearly seven years, the police department has held the event on the first Tuesday in August. One demonstration that had all eyes on it was the K-9 simulation with officers. “Like if you tell them to do something, like if you tell them to bite a guy, they’ll go bite him,” said Austin Swafford of Harriman. Harriman police officers ran two scenarios with their K-9s. One involving a suspect running away and the other if an officer is attacked. “It’s really neat how they can train them to know whether there’s drugs or things that there shouldn’t be in the vehicle or on the person,” said Maryann Hill of Harriman. The event is also supposed to give a message to potential criminals in the area. “It’s a night against crime that we’re here to say we don’t want crime in our city,” said Karen Joseph of the Harriman Police Department. For some, forming that bond with police officers has been a positive experience. “I’ve got one granddaughter that’s involved in this. She’s an explorer with the police department and it helps all these young kids to learn responsibilities and teaches them up the right way,” said Sandra Taylor of Harriman. The goal is that people will create a camaraderie in the neighborhood and a stronger partnership with law enforcement. Harriman’s event falls in line with the national Night Out Against Crime. Since 1984, it has spread to all fifty states and involves nearly 38 million people and more than 16,000 communities.

K9s4COPs featured on CultureMap Houston


Two H-Town bombshells with charity cred get a lot of national media love

K9 Bullet hits the streets with Tipton PD

TIPTON, Iowa — If and when someone goes missing in Tipton, the police have a new tool to assist in the search.
Officers Friday introduced the department’s new K9 officer to the public. Bullet and her handler, Officer Scott McGlaughlin, have been training in Texas. A grant from the non-profit group “K9s4COPs” paid for Bullet and her training.
The Tipton Police Department is the only law enforcement agency in Cedar County to have a K9 officer. “I think it’s a great tool to have.
Again, for Tipton and Cedar County as a whole. It’s a tool that we can definitely take advantage of and I think this dog will be a good asset to our community,” said McGlaughlin. Also Friday, the department unveiled an original painting featuring Bullet. Cedar Rapids artist Santiago Sanchez donated the painting.
The department will sell 1,000 limited edition prints to raise money for Bullet’s care.

Shadow Sentinels

Every time I learn of another school shooting I can’t help but think what if a K9 had been present?

Teachers packing heat aren’t the answer. They underpaid superheroes to begin with; they don’t need this added responsibility. Even if they’re certified to carry, do they have to time to go the range and maintain their skills? I’m fortunate enough to have my own gun range and know what it takes to remain proficient with firearms. It takes work! I could not imagine trying to maintain that precision while trying to herd 25 screaming first graders!

What happens when children are hit with “friendly fire” from a person with the very best of intentions? You can control a weapon but what about those children around it? Who is going to stop a panicking child from running where they shouldn’t? That’s the teachers job. Keeping them out of harm’s way not inadvertently putting them there!

What if the weapon falls into the hands of a child? Or one of those students on edge that are often at the heart of theses tragic shootings?

I believe K9s are the deterrents we should be seeking. A K9 isn’t going to stop an active shooter situation, but he can sure buy an extra 45 seconds for those seeking safety or signal when someone’s entering campus with gunshot residue on their hands or firearms, or heaven forbid, explosives, in their backpacks! It’s already well documented as to how successful K9s are at keeping drugs off of campuses, why should firearms be any different?

People DO NOT realize how highly trained these dogs truly are! They might not be able to “detect crazy” but trust me their instincts on crazy are way better than ours! How many times have we seen stories where household pets have alerted their owners to dangerous situations? How about the dog that warned the family off of the abusive babysitter? The dogs, on their own, have that instinct. K9s are selected for that superior trait and it’s honed to perfection through training.

Take our own “Shadow Sentinels,” our personal protection K9s. I can’t fathom the safety of my child without her “ninja nanny.” My daughter Sinclair is 44 pounds, dripping wet. If someone was to grab her and starting running, there’s not much she can do. With K9 Daisy at her side, the odds of a stranger danger dramatically decrease.

All it takes is one code word (usually in Czech, Dutch or German) to put Daisy in stealth mode. She locks on an assailant to give Sinclair a chance to get free. When the code word for stop is engaged, she immediately stops and goes back to family pet mode. Again, the switch is immediate, from jaws clamped around an attacker one second to being attacked by pets and praise by a group of children in another.

K9s4KIDs may not be the best answer, but until someone comes up with a better one that doesn’t involve $1,000 Kevlar backpacks or blankets, I’m not budging.

-Kristi Schiller

Local vet teaches K-9 CPR, first aid to police, fire departments


VALPARAISO | Combining a passion for caring for pets and an admiration for canine law enforcement, local veterinarian Lisa Booth is benefiting both.

The 1994 Portage High School graduate is the founder of Kits for K9s, a nonprofit organization that provides first-aid kits to law enforcement and fire department service dogs.

After receiving her veterinary medicine degree from Purdue University in 2000, Booth began her career and also started teaching animal first aid to pet owners through the American Red Cross.

Soon thereafter, Booth read an article about a veterinarian in Texas who taught CPR to firefighters.

“A lot of people run back into a burning home to get a pet,” said Booth. “I thought it was a good idea for outreach to the community.”

So Booth began teaching pet CPR, free of charge, to area fire departments, including Chesterton, Lakes of the Four Seasons, Hobart and Portage.

The idea to expand her reach to law enforcement came when one of her students, a police officer, indicated he “had no clue” what to do if his dog needed CPR.

“I was mind-boggled,” said Booth. “They spend all this time and all this training … these dogs cost lots of money and they are very close with them. The dogs are like their partners and they don’t know how to save them. I decided I wanted to do more with police departments.”

Booth then connected with Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., which specializes in military and law enforcement canine training, and now teaches pet first-aid class there six times a year with about 20 officers in each class.

Booth has provided K-9 CPR training to local police units from Valparaiso, Lake Station and the Lake County sheriff’s department, as well as those from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, and to officers from federal law enforcement agencies.

“They were so grateful,” said Booth. “But they started asking about first-aid kits, and so it dawned on me to give them first-aid kits too.”

She raised money to put together her first 100 pet first-aid kits by asking vets, drug companies and friends and acquaintances for donations.

“In the process, lot of people told me I should start a nonprofit organization,” said Booth.

With the help of the Valparaiso University student law clinic, Booth formed her nonprofit Kits for K9s in March 2013, to continue the effort.

The kits, duffel bags embroidered with the Kits for K9s logo, contain gauze sponges, roll gauze, adhesive tape, sterile pads, scissors, a digital thermometer, water-based sterile lubricant, hydrogen peroxide, syringes, antibiotic ointment, saline eyewash, glucose syrup, styptic powder, needle nose pliers, vet-wrap, Benadryl tablets, a wound cleanser and a collapsible water bowl.

Booth is raising money to assemble her next batch of first-aid kits. Those who would like to donate to Kits for K9s may do so at Vale Park Animal Hospital in Valparaiso, or use the organization’s Facebook page

Booth said she will continue to teach pet CPR free of charge to fire and police departments that are interested, and those who want a pet first-aid kit for a service dog can have one.

“I’m starting small and getting the word out,” Booth said.