FORT MITCHELL – The purchase of a K-9 for the Fort Mitchell Police Department led to a generous donation.
Tony, a 15-month-old German Shepherd, is the newest addition to the Fort Mitchell Police Department. But he wasn't the first choice.
The first selection was Bruno, another German Shepherd, but after a week of training, handler and specialist Shane Best realized he was too passive to serve as a police dog.
When he returned him to the Michigan-based FM K-9, it was difficult. Best’s daughter, who has special needs, had already developed a strong bond with Bruno. Much to the surprise of Best and the department, the owner of FM K-9 donated Bruno to serve as a service dog for Best’s daughter.
“I was speechless,” Best said. “Really, that’s absolutely the greatest thing anyone has ever done for my family.”
Police Chief Andrew Schierberg said it was an "incredible act of kindness."
"FM K-9 could have still made money on this dog," he said. "This was a very generous and much-appreciated offer.
Tony, Fort Mitchell's certified K-9 cop was made possible through generosity as well.
The new officer was brought on board with zero tax payer dollars. In November, the department partnered with several local businesses to hold a fundraising campaign to purchase a K-9. They raised more than $25,000.
Tony officially joined the force April 24 and has been “very busy” in just his first few weeks, according to Best.
“His second day on the job it got real, we were called to a home invasion to do a track in Bellevue,” Best said. “Tony is very playful. He’s got a lot of puppy in him yet, but when it‘s time to go to work he turns it on.”
And they’re glad to have him on the team, Police Chief Andrew Schierberg said.
“He’s the first K-9 in the department’s history, as far as we know,” Schierberg said. “K-9s are a very versatile tool for us to have. I’ve seen a lot of usefulness out of them. Like every community in the area, we have drugs that come through our city. We have people overdose and those transporting drugs, a K-9 is another tool that gives us the ability to get these drugs off the streets.”