K-9 Duke in new bed

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office newest K-9 Officer Duke lounges in his new bed purchased by K9 Ballistics. The sheriff’s K-9 Unit was also awarded a $500 Aftermath K9 Grant that will be used to purchase Duke a protective vest.

Public votes in an online competition earned a $500 grant for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office that will be used to buy a ballistic vest for the newest K-9 officer, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

From Oct. 18 through Nov. 2, members of the public could vote once every 12 hours for the K-9 program they wanted to receive funds from the Aftermath K9 Grant program, which had a total of $16,500 available to the eight law enforcement agencies in the country that received the most votes.

The program with the most votes received $5,000.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the $500 grant will be used to purchase a protective vest for K-9 Officer Duke, who is assigned to northern Santa Barbara County and will be trained in detecting explosives.

“We appreciate everyone who voted for us in this nationwide contest and, as a result, provided additional funding to support the ongoing costs necessary to keep our K-9 Unit going,” Hoover said.

“Thank you to the Aftermath K9 Grant for recognizing the important work that K-9 teams are doing across the country,” she said, also thanking K9 Ballistics for purchasing a new bed for Duke and supporting the sheriff’s K-9 Unit over the years.

The Aftermath K-9 Grant was founded to showcase, support and reward the unique contributions made by law enforcement and their K-9 units across the country.

To help support the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, visit the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse website at http://www.sbsheriffsposse.org/ and click on the Project Deputy Dog tab.

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This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, news editor for the Santa Ynez Valley News. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.