NEW PHILADELPHIA - The police department is looking to add a new four-legged officer to its roster as K9 Pete heads toward early retirement.
K9 Unit commander Sgt. Mike Pierce says Pete has done outstanding work during his seven years with the department, but he says a medical condition is starting to make it more difficult for Pete to do the job.
“It’s a common thing for working dogs and shepherds to have. It’s a nerve issue that his back legs and paws start to drag on the ground as he gets older. He’s going to be nine this year, and just the potential for him to get hurt or have things happen like that and not be to his full capacity is a concern,” he says.
Pierce says the department is now seeking donations to help them get a new K9 trained and ready to take over so Pete can spend his remaining years relaxing at home.
“I couldn’t imagine having him go anywhere else. The bond that him and I have with our years of work together and everything like that, I couldn’t imagine him being anywhere but by my side always,” he says.
Pierce says Pete will be able to continue working in the meantime as long as they keep a close eye on him and don’t let him overdo it.
“He is still currently working for the time being. I’m just trying to monitor his activity and stuff so I don’t make his issues with his nerves and worse and protect him so he has quality of life after his retirement for when that happens,” he says.
Pierce says people can get in touch with him or Chief Mike Goodwin if they want to contribute toward the cause, or they can write a check to the New Philadelphia Police Department with K9 Fund in the memo line and drop it off or mail it to the station. He says whatever they’re able to raise in donations will help offset the cost to the city.