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2018 AKC Paw of Courage Recipients

2018 AKC Paw of Courage Recipients

  • K9 Max - San Diego Police Department, CA +

    K9 Max, five-year-old Belgian Malinois, served with the San Diego Police Department for two years at the time of his injury. In June of 2017, police officers responded to a radio call of a man acting bizarrely. Upon arrival, the suspect threatened the officers with a knife and fled. K9 Max was deployed to apprehend the suspect, but as he approached, Max was stabbed several times. After a bit of a struggle, the man was taken into custody. Max was treated at a local veterinary hospital and has since made a full recovery.

    In the two short years that Max has been with the San Diego Police Department, he has proven to be an exceptional K-9 officer with several apprehensions under his belt. K9 Max is back to work full-time with his handler, Officer Luis Carbajal, and has not had any medical issues since the incident. Officer Carbajal and the entire San Diego Police Department are proud to have this courageous canine helping to serve their community.

  • K9 Dingo - Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake, UT +

    K9 Dingo, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois, was a dedicated member of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. He was a multi-purpose police dog, trained and certified in narcotics detection, building and area searches, criminal apprehension, tactical deployments (SWAT) and evidence detection. Dingo had won many competitive awards during his five-year career, but his real-world deployments and successes earned him the reputation of being the first choice when a criminal needed to be located and apprehended.

    In July of 2017, Dingo was attempting to apprehend a violent parole fugitive wanted for theft, robbery and aggravated assault. Dingo was deployed when the suspect fled on foot and after a struggle, he was fatally injured.

    During his career, Dingo came to the aid of his handler, Sergeant Chad Reyes on numerous occasions. In one incident, while in pursuit of a fugitive, Dingo stepped in and apprehended the suspect just before he pulled a loaded firearm from his pocket. As an officer, Dingo held the department record for felony arrests and apprehensions, but at home he was a true member of the family and enjoyed being anywhere his human family was. According to Sergeant Reyes, Dingo will always live on as his hero and the void he left will be hard to fill.

  • K9 Apache - Indiana State Police, IN +

    K9 Apache is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois working with the Indiana State Police for a little over a year. He is certified in narcotics detection and suspect apprehension. During the past year, he has assisted in locating countless narcotics and large amounts of currency leading to multiple felony arrests.

    This past October, while conducting an investigation, the suspect fled and Apache was released to apprehend him. During the interaction, the suspect pulled a gun and fired two shots, one of which struck K-9 Apache in the neck. The suspect then turned and fired 3 shots at Apache’s handler, Officer Walter Butt. Apache quickly reengaged the suspect, allowing the officer to successfully apprehend him.

    After the incident, Apache fled, likely due to his injury and the stress of the incident. A full effort from multiple agencies helped to search for him and he was reunited with his handler the following morning. After being treated at a veterinary hospital, and recovering at home for three weeks, Apache was re-certified and has since returned to full duty with his handler. The sacrifice that Apache made for his handler and the community he serves was truly heroic and is appreciated by Officer Butt and the Indiana State Police Department.

  • K9 Dexter - San Diego Police, CA +

    K9 Dexter, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, has been with the San Diego Police Department for over a year. He is a multi-purpose police dog, serving the community with his handler, Officer Dave Winans. K9 Dexter and Winans are one of 36 K9 teams that the San Diego Police Department fields in order to help supply the city with 24/7 monitoring. Dexter is an invaluable resource to the department, successfully helping to deescalate volatile and dangerous incidents. Dexter and Winans have countless arrests under their belts and have contributed to a fair share of the 15,000 radio calls that the unit handled last year.

    This past February, Dexter was viciously stabbed while responding to a 911 call. It was reported that a mother was struggling to control her son at home. The suspect came to the door of the home yielding a kitchen knife and refused to drop his weapon, leading to an hour-long standoff with police. The officers on scene fired beanbag rounds at the suspect, which failed to disarm him. Officer Winans made the difficult decision to release Dexter and during the apprehension, the suspect stabbed him several times. K9 Dexter suffered a broken rib and ruptured spleen and was rushed to the emergency veterinary facility for surgery. The suspect was successfully detained by the responding officers and arrested on multiple accounts, including felony assault of a police dog. K9 Dexter has since made a full recovery and returned to duty in San Diego. The sacrifice that K9 Dexter made to protect his fellow officers and his community is appreciated by the entire San Diego Police Department.

  • K9 Rony - Houston Police, TX +

    K9 Rony, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, served with the Houston Police Department for seven years at the time of his injury. He was certified in patrol work as well as explosive detection. K9 Rony was credited with 250 apprehensions and eleven gun or evidence finds throughout his career. He also served at several public events including the NBA Allstar Game, The Final Four, Superbowl, and recently the World Series.

    In February, K9 Rony suffered a serious injury following a pursuit of a suspect who had been driving a stolen vehicle. The driver led officers on a vehicle chase before exiting the car and fleeing on foot. K9 Rony and his human partner, Officer Dennis Shadden, pursued the suspect on foot and Rony was released for an apprehension in a heavily wooded area. One of Rony’s legs became entwined in an object and he suffered a serious injury. The subject was taken into custody by other officers and Rony was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital for treatment. The injury had caused Rony a shattered elbow and multiple breaks in different places of his leg. Because of prior injuries and bad arthritis in his other legs, the veterinarian and the officers agreed that amputating the leg would be too traumatic for the K9 officer, and euthanasia was the most humane treatment. K9 Rony touched the hearts of many in his seven years with the department and will not be forgotten.