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AKC Paw of Courage

2016 AKC Paw of Courage Recipients

  • K9 Ogar - Smith County Constable's Office, TX +

    K9 Ogar, a one-year-old Belgian Malinois of Smith County Constable’s Office in Texas, was shot and killed while attempting an apprehension this past January. K9 Ogar and his handler, Deputy Constable Kevin Petty, were conducting a routine traffic stop when a vehicle fled, leading to a pursuit. The vehicle was wrecked and the subject evaded on foot into a wooded area, and K9 Ogar was deployed. During this confrontation, K9 Ogar was shot and killed. Deputy Constable Petty says, “Ogar sacrificed his life to save mine.” He says that Ogar was always right by his side and looked at him with true love and devotion.

    When K9 Ogar was not on duty he was like any other family dog. He loved to run circles around the swimming pool with Deputy Constable Petty’s two young girls. He also enjoyed playing tug of war and catch and was a master escape artist. From the moment he was brought home by his handler, he fit right in with the family. According to his handler, Ogar had mastered the combination of being both soft and strong simultaneously. He loved any attention he could get and in exchange, all he asked for was love. K9 Ogar touched many lives in his time as a K9 officer and he is dearly missed each and every day. 

  • K9 Jag - Twin Rivers Unified School District Police Department, CA +

    K9 Jag was an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois who served with the Twin Rivers Unified School District Police Department for five​ ​years. During his annual state certification, he was struck by a vehicle. “K9 Jag was everything a handler and a school Police ​Department could want. He knew his job and did it well,” says his partner, Sergeant Arlin Kocher. He describes Jag as intense, energetic, sweet and powerful. K9 Jag was the first ever Twin Rivers Unified School District Police Department’s canine. He excelled in every aspect of his career; credited with hundreds of narcotics searches, over 50 suspect surrenders and three apprehensions throughout his time in the department.

    ​Equally as important, K9 Jag also spent a ton of time doing public outreach in the schools and nearby communities. Students, staff and parents looked​ forward to seeing Jag on a daily basis. He was adored for being sweet and friendly while also serving as their fierce and dependable protector.

    Throughout his career, K9 Jag competed in countless events and won numerous awards. According to his partner, Sgt. Kocher, K9 Jag wouldn’t let anyone leave a room without petting him. At the end of his shift, he was always eager to go back to the Police Department where the fellow officers were waiting, for what he thought was just to play with him. K9 Jag is sorely missed by Sergeant Kocher as well as the entire Twin Rivers USD as a uniformed working dog as well as a family dog.

  • K9 Betcha - Rutland County Sheriff’s Office, VT +

    K9 Betcha was a two-year-old Australian Cattle Dog who served as a narcotics/tracking K9 at the Rutland County Sheriff’s Office in Vermont. He was with​ the Sheriff’s Office for about a year when he was struck and killed by a vehicle while in the line of duty. “He was my fourth K9 partner but my first dog that I can say was my therapy,” says his handler, Deputy Sheriff Edward Hunter of Betcha. Deputy Sheriff Hunter has been in police work for 35 years and says that K9 Betcha truly helped him cope with his past and present in the job. When Betcha was off-duty, he loved playing Frisbee and driving down the road with his head out the window allowing people to snap pictures of him as he passed by. K9 Betcha gave his life for his career and is greatly missed by his partner, and his off-duty family, as well as his family at Rutland County Sheriff’s Office.

  • K9 Krijger - Norfolk Police Department, VA +

    K9 Kirjger, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia was shot and killed following a violent barricade situation this past​ January. Police were responding to a domestic violence call when the man barricaded himself inside his home with his wife as a hostage. After several ​hours, the man exited the home opening fire on the officers, fatally wounding Krijger.

    K9 Krijger’s partner, Officer Ryan McNiff began his partnership and friendship during a 16-week training course. During the training, the duo became proficient in numerous skills including: obedience, tracking, open area searches, agility, building searches, apprehensions, and control commands. Even more importantly, Officer McNiff and Krijger learned to work together and to trust one another. “Krijger was not only my partner, he was also my best friend”, says Officer McNiff. “Krijger taught me many things about courage, honor, loyalty and friendship”. K9 Krijger has assisted in locating evidence for countless crimes and he is responsible for over 30 felony apprehensions. Not only was he constantly busy keeping the city safe, Krijger also performed many public demonstrations within the schools and the community. In his off-duty hours, K9 Krijger could be found hanging out on the patio enjoying a bone or running ​around the backyard with one of his many toys. Krijger loved backyard barbeques with his off-duty family and enjoyed relaxing by the fire pit at night.

    When it came to making the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect his partner and his fellow officers, Krijger did not hesitate. “I truly believe that because of him, I am a better police officer and person”, says Officer McNiff. K9 Krijger’s sacrifice is deeply appreciated by his fellow officers, his partner, his off-duty family and the entire community that he served. He is commemorated by his community as a true hero.

  • K9 Nicky - Las Vegas Metro Police Department, NV +

    K9 Nicky was an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department in Nevada. He had been part of the department for over five ​years when he was shot and killed while responding to an incident with his handler, Sergeant Eric Kearns. The suspect was walking through a neighborhood reportedly shooting at people randomly. He had murdered two innocent people and was threatening the rest of the neighborhood. Nicky was deployed as officers attempted to take the subject into custody. During the course of apprehending the suspect, a firefight ensued between the suspect and the police and Nicky was killed during the shootout.

    At the time of his tragic death, Nicky had only been back on duty for a little over a month after recovering from a previous incident where he was severely wounded. Nicky was deployed to apprehend a suspect who had been barricaded for over 12 hours. He quickly engaged the suspect who was armed with a machete and viciously ​ ​attacked K9 Officer Nicky. He was rushed to the emergency vet where he underwent surgery to repair the machete wounds to his face, chest and paws. Nicky made a quick recovery and was anxious to get back to work, returning to full duty just 3 weeks after the incident. Sergeant Kearns says that even with scars on his face, it was clear that Nicky was happy to be back at work. During his career, Nicky had 99 apprehensions of suspects who had committed various crimes including burglary, robbery and murder.

    Even as a puppy, Nicky’s potential was clear. He began his training in KNVP, the royal Dutch Police Dog Training program where he titled as a PH1 with honors. Nicky was a courageous, strong and driven K9 Officer. He enjoyed his work tremendously whether he was right in the action, searching for and apprehending suspects or just driving around with Sergeant Kearns, patrolling the streets of Las Vegas. K9 Nicky was a true hero who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect. Nicky is deeply missed by Sergeant Eric Kearns as well as the entire Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

  • K9 Aren - Port Authority of Allegheny County Police Department, PA +

    K9 Aren, a five-year-old German Shepherd Dog of the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, was stabbed to death during an apprehension​ this past January. K9 Aren, along with his handler Officer Brian O’Malley and other officers, had engaged a subject in a foot pursuit following an incident at the Wilkinsburg transit station. K9 Aren located the subject and was released to attempt an apprehension. The subject stabbed and killed K9 Aren before ​being fatally shot by the officers on scene.

    Aren was trained in patrol tactics, and explosive detection as well as SWAT K9 operations. He assisted in numerous arrests throughout the transit system as well as performing daily explosive sweeps. K9 Aren was a treasured K9 Officer and will always be remembered by the Port Authority Police of Allegheny County as well as his partner, Officer O’Malley.

  • K9 Jethro - Canton Police Department, OH +

    Jethro was an AKC registered German Shepherd Dog of the Canton Police Department in Ohio. In January 2016, Jethro and his handler Officer Ryan Davis, responded to an alarm at a grocery store. As the pair entered the warehouse area, Jethro quickly picked up on the presence of a person and went to investigate. The subject was located and when he continued to disobey officers’ commands, Jethro was deployed. The subject opened fire, shooting Jethro multiple times before fleeing on foot. The suspect was later apprehended a short distance away. Jethro was rushed to the Stark County Veterinary Emergency Clinic where he eventually succumbed to his wounds.

    Jethro was brought home at 8 weeks of age as a family pet with the intent of possibly becoming a working dog. In November of 2014 Officer Davis’ first partner retired and Jethro had been screened and had begun his official schooling to become Davis’ next partner. Officer Davis and Jethro handled hundreds of calls together including alarms, trouble calls and burglaries. Officer Davis describes Jethro as a giant gentle beast. He says Jethro was “a 105 lb lap dog who could apprehend a criminal and then turn around and play with neighborhood kids.” He says that Jethro was “loyal to the end” and will be missed terribly.

  • K9 Patrick - Washington State Patrol, WA +

    Patrick was a three year old German Shepherd Dog of the Washington State Patrol in Washington. This past April, Trooper Mike Allan and his K9 partner, Patrick, participated in explosive detection training at the AMTRAK Seattle Sounder Station. During the training, Patrick screened two ferry loads of cars for explosives at Coleman Ferry Terminal. After conducting his work, Trooper Allan saw Patrick was in distress and rushed him to a vet. Patrick was suffering from tangled intestines and immediately underwent emergency surgery in attempt to save his life. The surgery was not successful and Patrick had to be euthanized later that night.

    Trooper Allan and K9 Patrick started their career together at Lackland Airforce Base in Texas in October 2015. In December 2015, Patrick and Trooper Allan became a certified K9 explosive team and served the citizens of Washington faithfully. Trooper Mike Allan and all members of the Homeland Security Division are mourning the loss of the courageous and loyal K9 Officer Patrick.

  • K9 Tryko - Doraville Police Department, GA +

    K9 Tryko is a 12-year-old German Shepherd Dog of the Doraville Police Department in Georgia. He began his career as a police dog for the City of Doraville in 2006, and is now in his 10th year of service. This past April, K9 Tryko and his handler, Officer Jason Deyette, were assisting the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Taskforce in a search for a man wanted for numerous felonies across multiple counties. Tryko located the suspect hiding in a house and was stabbed in the mouth as he moved in to apprehend him. He lost a great deal of blood and sustained a number of punctures and lacerations to his tongue and mouth. Tryko healed and returned to full duty in about a month. Since returning to work after his injury, he has already had a number of apprehensions.

    Tryko is trained in patrol work as well as narcotics detection. Over his exceptionally long career, he has been responsible for approximately 700 suspect apprehensions and 600 drug seizures; being directly involved in recovering nearly one million dollars in drug money. Tryko has met hundreds of children at schools, churches and community functions during K9 demonstrations.  He has also been called upon to assist many federal agencies including FBI, DEA, ICE, and the US Marshalls Service. In 2014, K9 Tryko was able to track, locate and apprehend a suspect who had shot and wounded two DeKalb County police officers a few hours prior. To Officer Deyette and the Doraville Police Deparmtner, K9 Tryko is considered a legend. According to the department, he is one of a kind and a truly special police dog. The sacrifices that he has made throughout his career are truly appreciated.