Westlake Kiwanis set up fund for police K-9 unit

Kiwanian Rick Grane and Westlake K-9 officer Dennis Funari pose with retiring police dog, Chico, outside the Westlake police station. Photo by Denny Wendell

The Westlake Kiwanis are looking to help the Westlake Police Department and surrounding communities by starting a project to expand Westlake’s K-9 program. 

Westlake currently has one dog, “Chico,” who is set to be retired in 2017. They are looking to replace Chico and add one or two more dogs to the program. Chico is currently used by not only Westlake but other surrounding departments when needed. With the increase of drugs and drug-related crimes the need for more dogs is obvious. 

"These dogs are used in all facets of the criminal apprehension of drug traffickers," said Rick Grane, a Westlake Kiwanian and auxiliary police officer. "They are also used to establish a relationship within the community for preventative education on drugs such as DARE and Safety Town."

Each dog costs about $15,000. Officer training, car and equipment can total between $5,000 and $8,000. 

The Westlake Kiwanis have set up a fund to attract donations and grants to achieve this goal. If you would like to contribute, checks may be made out to “Westlake Kiwanis Youth Foundation Inc." and reference the “Canine Fund." Please send checks to the Westlake Kiwanis treasurer, Ray Budoi, 23247 Maybelle Drive, Westlake, OH 44145.

Victor Rutkoski

I am a member of the Westlake Kiwanis and and advisor for the Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:10 AM, 12.13.2016