Dogs were at work at new Hoofs and Hounds event

Dogs were at work at new Hoofs and Hounds event

Image Credit: Teri Stein

Spectators were treated to a demonstration of area K-9s in action at the first Hoofs and Hounds event on Aug. 20 at Camp Tuscazoar.

Providing the demonstration was patrolman Jordan Doughty of the Dover Police Department and his K-9, Red, and patrolman Brad Geist of the New Philadelphia Police Department and his K-9, Cooper. Assisting as the “bad guy” was Chris Heslop, president of the Police K-9 Association. Heslop also is a member of the Canton Police Department.

The training the K-9s receive depends on the dog, but in general each dog receives 12 weeks of training before it joins the police department.

“They also train two times per month after that,” Geist said. “There is a training facility in Canton. They will go to empty buildings and do searches for narcotics just to keep them fresh.”

The K-9s can smell things humans can’t.

“A dog’s sense of smell is around 100 times better than a human,” Geist said.

The use of K-9s can vary. Sometimes they are called out multiple times in one day, and other days they are not needed at all.

“Cooper got his first call within three days,” Geist said.

Both Red and Cooper are Belgian Malinois. K-9s live with the patrolmen they work with during their service and stay with the patrolmen after the K-9 retires.

“Depending on the dog, they usually serve seven to nine years,” Geist said.

The speed and the agility of the dogs were on display during the demonstration. They grab a suspect by the arm, and they do not loosen their hold until their handler instructs them to let go.

The Police K-9 Association also sold shirts to raise funds to benefit about 60 active and retired K-9s through its organization. The organization provides education and training, veterinary and dental care, end-of-life valor, and lifesaving equipment like ballistic vests, which cost between $2,600-$2,800 for one vest.

With law-enforcement budgets unable to cover some of these expensive costs, the PK9A steps in to help when they can.

The PK9A, a nonprofit organization, has an annual 5k fundraiser scheduled for this year on Saturday, Oct. 8 in downtown Canton. For more information or to purchase PK9A merchandise, visit www.policek9association.com or find them on Facebook or Instagram.

There were many groups and vendors at the event. The upper level, behind the stockade fence, was the horse and animal area.

A lower level at Kimble Dining Hall held the live auction items, raffle items and other vendors, many carrying dog-related items. Messdad’s food truck, the duck pond game, the Kent State Tuscarawas vet-tech program, and many other vendors and organizations also were there.

Of the many items available at the event was one called the WoofPack, a dog-walking accessory bag that features an inner antimicrobial lining that holds bagged waste and also has pockets for personal items. The bag has many different ways it can be used when walking a pet.

At DJ’s Paw Rescue, a group from the Portage Lakes area, several dogs were available for adoption. They wagged their tails as visitors walked by, and the rescue owners received an application for one of the dogs.

Another nonprofit group at the event, Rush 2 Rescue, offers driving services to pick up dogs and move them to their new homes. They drive mostly in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Other groups participating in the event that were stationed at the Hoover Lodge area were PELIA horse rides, City Limits Western Wear, Seven Ranges Mountain Men exhibit, the mini-menagerie petting zoo, Stirrup Courage, the Little Roaming Railroad and the Ice Cream Island food truck.

Cadence Beavers of Sherrodsville attended the event with Henny, a 10-month-old English Coonhound.

“We decided to take Henny out for the first time because she hasn’t been out a lot,” Beavers said. “She really loves all the dogs here and getting to socialize with them and the treats. She loves it so much. I think it’s an awesome event.”

Beavers thought the event helped Henny.

“This is her first big social event that she’s been to. She’s doing amazing.” Beavers said.

Chelsie White of Dover and her children — Layla Sanders, 7; Kyiah Sanders, 5; and Jaxyn Sanders, 4 — visited the event. The children each found a horseshoe on the scavenger hunt on the Sippo Trail, and they turned them in for prizes.

“They had a lot of fun,” White said. “The horses were the girls’ favorite, and Jaxyn’s favorite was the K-9s.”

On the schedule soon for Camp Tuscazoar is a pig roast fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 3-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation. Get a meal of roast pork, barbecue chicken, parsley potatoes, corn, rolls and butter, applesauce, beverages, and assorted desserts. Tickets are now available online at www.tuscazoar.org. All proceeds support the camp.