Members of the Hartford Obedience Training Club presented a check to West Hartford Police on June 23, 2017.
By Ronni Newton
A local dog training club raised funds and has given a generous gift to the West Hartford Police Department in support of its K-9 program, and members of the Hartford Obedience Training Club (HOTC) presented the $1,500 check at the station Friday afternoon.
HOTC President Jack Petersen, Head Trainer Lorrie Moule (a former 26-year Animal Control officer in West Hartford), and HOTC board member Gina Montano were on hand to present the donation to Chief Tracey Gove, Det. Rosario Savastra, K-9 Off. Tom Lazure, and Lazure’s K-9 partner, Jett.
“We so appreciate this. We can definitely use the money,” Gove said. “We don’t always have funds to buy discretionary items.”
Montano said the club wanted to raise money for a discretionary fund, rather than targeted to a specific item. Unexpected and un-budgeted expenses often arise in the K-9 unit.
“They will be able to use this for medical bills or equipment needs that pop up,” Savastra said. He is a former K-9 officer who just a month ago lost his partner-turned-pet, K-9 Reign, who was euthanized on May 24 at age 14½ after losing the ability to walk due to degenerative back issues.
The HOTC raised $750 and the club matched the amount raised after learning of K-9 Reign’s passing. It is the second time that the HOTC has made a donation to the West Hartford Police K-9 unit.
“The K-9 program is so important. Not only do they find lost kids, catch the bad guys, and find drugs, but they are also so good for community relations,” Savastra said. The K-9s are part of the police family, but also an important part of the community.
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