In just a year, Bosco went from being a stray puppy living on the streets of Indiana to gaining celebrity status as the first dog on the Ankeny Police Department’s K-9 Unit in Iowa. And he’s already proved his gratitude—on his first drug call on Jan. 7, he sniffed out 40 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $122,000.
Bosco joined the police department in November after the township launched a fundraising campaign to acquire $20,000 to purchase and train the dog in tracking and drug detection as well as cover the expenses needed to launch a new K-9 program. The department became aware of the need for a tracking dog after handling multiple cases of missing persons due to Alzheimer's, dementia, and autism. Donations rolled in from corporate sponsors, like John Deere and Sam’s Club, but the most notable contribution came in on much smaller scale. Five-year-old Tristan Sommerfeld told WHO-TV in Des Moines that he dreams of becoming a police officer and hopes for the Ankeny Police Department to have a K-9 Unit by the time he’s old enough to join. For his birthday, he asked family and friends to donate to the cause, raising a grand total of $1,500. By the end of the campaign, the department raised almost $30,000.
Bosco was located in September at a rescue organization in Indiana, the Ankeny Police Department explained in a statement. Workers there reported that he had a tremendously high drive needed for police work. He underwent training and was placed with handler Officer Bret Lappin.
Police introduced Bosco in November (see video below) and he began working this month.