Search Menu

The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is excited to announce the winners of the first-ever AKC/USPCA K9 Detection Dog Challenge. The event, hosted by the AKC and the United States Police Canine Association, brought out the best of the nation’s narcotics and explosives detection dogs to demonstrate the important role dogs play in law enforcement and keeping our country safe. ESPN2 aired the event on November 28th.

“The AKC is proud to profile the great service that our K9 officers provide to our nation to help keep us safe,” said Chris Sweetwood, AKC Board Director. “As the Event Chairman for the Challenge, this was a labor of love for our four-footed first responders and their human partners. We are proud to recognize their professionalism. “

The event was held on November 15th at the PNC Arena, where ten narcotics dog teams and ten explosives detection dog teams competed against each other to see which could find their respective substance – illegal narcotics and explosive substances – the quickest. The teams navigated obstacles and sorted through distractions to find the hidden items. They were scored on the accuracy of their search, perfection of their alert (telling the handler where the hide is), and the find itself (a combination of the ability of the dog and the handler to accurately tell judges where the hide is located).

“This event brought out the best of the best from around the country, and it was extremely impressive to watch these dogs in action,” said Gina DiNardo, AKC Executive Secretary. “We are happy to congratulate the winners and all of the participants and thank them for their diligent work in keeping our nation safe.”



Explosives Teams:

1st –   Michelle Lyman and K9 Peppers, Raleigh Police Department

2nd–   Tracy Stuart and K9 Freya, Stockton University Police in New Jersey

3rd–    Kaitlin Schamberger and K9 Zada, NYPD Transit

4th –   Alison Gentile and K9 Mac, MTA PD NY

5th –   Rich Rodden & K9 Kasey, GM Security Global Police


Narcotics Teams:

1st –  Dao Meunseveng & K9 Bero, Des Moines Iowa Police

2nd–  Joe Angarone & K9 Bela, Mercer County, NJ Prosecutors Office

3rd–   Larry McArdle & K9 Zoey, New York Department of Corrections

4th–   Kolby Kraft & K9 Kye, Charleston, IL Police Department

5th–   Jared Davis & K9 Bella, Lowndes County, GA Sheriffs Department


Photos from the event can be downloaded HERE.

To learn more about AKC events, visit To learn more about the USPCA, visit