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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is honored to recognize K9 Vishu of Kankakee Sheriff’s Department in Kankakee, IL., and K9 Biza of Auburn Massachusetts Police Department in Auburn, MA., with the American Kennel Club’s DOGNY Paw of Courage Award.

The AKC DOGNY Paw of Courage demonstrates appreciation for the work that dogs do in the service of humankind. This award recognizes dogs who serve their communities, making great impacts on the lives of their human counterparts.

“These two canines have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to keeping their communities safe every day,” says AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo.” The American Kennel Club is proud to honor these two incredibly deserving canines, K9 Vishu and K9 Biza.”

K9 Vishu, Kankakee Sheriff’s Department, Kankakee, IL

Over K9 Vishu’s career, she has assisted on open water searches for drowning victims as well as missing persons searches for many surrounding police departments. Vishu has assisted multiple agencies in the Midwest to help locate evidence and remains in various states and stages of decomposition.

She has been certified numerous times through United States Police Canine Association as both a tracking dog and detector dog. She is trained to track and indicate on articles for live persons and find human remains in various stages and states of decomposition.

Vishu eats a raw meat diet and is referred to as “The Hamburgler” here, earning the name through many acts of thievery over the years.

K9 Biza, Auburn Massachusetts Police Department, Auburn, MA.

In February of 2024, K9 Biza and her partner assisted in tracking down a 12-year-old child who had been missing for over two hours. Biza followed the child’s scent for two miles, which ended with K9 Biza and K9 officer David Llunggren safely reuniting the child with their family.

Biza is a dual purpose K9 who is nationally certified through the North American Work Dog Association on patrol functions and narcotics. Patrol functions include obedience, building searches, area searches, evidence recovery, aggression control/handler protection and human tracking.

She is 3 years old and in her down time, she enjoys long walks, playing fetch and swimming.

To learn more and nominate a dog for a Paw of Courage award, click here.