K9 Jethro's Handler Gets A New Police Dog

Nancy Bailey

K9 Jethro left big paw prints to fill. On Sunday, January 24, Canton Ohio Police Officer Ryan Davis flew to Houston to the training center of K9s4Cops, to meet some dogs.

Jethro, a German shepherd, had been shot while trying to stop a robbery. Jethro had been hit in the face, shoulder, and neck. While the whole community hoped and prayed, Jethro fought to stay alive, but the injuries proved to be too much for him. He died the following day.

Davis tried to explain the magnitude of his loss.

"There is no doubt in my mind that I am here because of what he did. I still call his name."
"These brave dogs are not only partners, they are truly family members. An officer and their K9 partner spend more time together than any other typical relationship in law enforcement. K9 Jethro gave his life for his handler without hesitation. There are no words that can truly describe the depth of loyalty in which these dogs will go to protect the ones they love."

Most departments have trouble budgeting a K9. Each dog costs anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000. The expense is due to the months of training required for each dog. This was brought to light again recently in another Ohio community, when a handler retired, but the dog didn't. According to Ohio state regulations, the dog had to be placed up for auction, at a starting cost of $3,500. It seems like a lot. But among police dogs, that's a bargain.

While a police department has to weigh priorities when it comes to the cost of a K9 unit, most of them can come up with the daily living expenses: Veterinary care, transportation, food, and of course, tennis balls.

This is where K9s4Cops comes in. They don't believe the initial high cost of a dog should prevent the establishment of a working K9 unit. Their goal is, as stated, "To ensure that K9 cost never keeps an Officer from having their K9 partner."

"The bond was there," he said.

The new team will begin 14 weeks of training with the Canton Police Department next month.

"People can help out by spreading the word about what K9s4COPs does, and donate whatever they can. Any amount helps."

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