Perry Village Police Department acquires new dog to become K-9 officer – News-Herald

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The Perry Village Police Department prepares to add a K-9 to its roster of officers.

Police Chief Troy Hager said a 21-month-old German Shepherd was purchased to become the new partner of Lt. Michael Collins, the department’s K-9 handler.

Collins and the dog will participate in a K-9 training program beginning in early June, Hager said. The training will take place at Shallow Stream Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.

Shallow Creek is the same place Perry Village bought the dog. Hager, Collins and another K-9 handler from another law enforcement agency in the area recently went there to check the list of available dogs.

“They were all great dogs,” Hager said at the May 12 village council meeting. “It was splitting hairs, but this one topped our list as we continued to talk.”

Hager and Collins’ chosen dog is currently called Rocky, but that should change soon.

Collins is spearheading a fundraising campaign that will provide all the money needed to buy the dog and pay for his training.

Once this campaign is over, the donor who has contributed the most money will be awarded the right to name the dog.

“We’ll have that announcement later,” Hager said.

The dog was acquired to replace Perry Village Police Department K-9 officer Zeke, who was euthanized on January 19 for medical reasons. A 5-year-old Dutch Shepherd, Zeke worked alongside Collins for almost three years.

Zeke took over from K-9 officer Zack, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, who died suddenly after exercising with Collins in a park on October 31, 2018. Zack had served the department for 1½ years.

Shallow Creek Kennels did not supply the Zeke and Zack department. However, Perry Village has already purchased another dog – K-9 Loreto – from Shallow Creek. German Shepherd, K-9 Loreto worked alongside Collins from 2007 until the dog retired in 2017. Loreto died in 2020 at the age of 14.

Due to Collins’ previous experience as a K-9 handler, he and Rocky qualified to participate in an accelerated training program that can be completed in two to four weeks instead of six weeks.

If training goes well for Collins and her new dog, the pair could be ready to start patrolling the village of Perry together in June.

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