CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The 2019 Aftermath K-9 Grant Contest has come to an end. The Carbondale Police Department, along with Axel, their Giant Schnauzer, has come in second place.
People all over the nation voted for their favorite police pooch from October 23rd to November 3rd. Robert Williams, Axel’s handler says the Carbondale Police Department worked hard on social media to get votes.
“It was almost like a second job for us,” Williams said.
Their hard work was worth it. With almost 15,000 votes, the Carbondale Police Department was awarded a $4,000 grant on Tuesday. The grant will help fund Axel’s training.
The Carbondale Police Department’s Canine Unit is funded solely by donations, so Williams says this grant will go a long way. Officers say they received votes from all over even from as far away as Brazil.
“People were loving it. People were eating it up. We were head to head with a Belgian malinois and they said ‘we have to have a schnauzer win this cause they’re not common in the police field’,” Williams said.
Axel is a one and a half-year-old puppy that specializes in narcotics detection, apprehension, and tracking. He can also understand multiple languages.
“He knows commands in English, which is his everyday language. Italian which is like a social, very happy language, so he knows he’s getting rewards and treats. So when we’re with kids it’s all Italian. When we’re working, working purposes we’ll do German,” said Williams.
Aftermath is a biohazard mediation company that works with families after they’ve experienced a tragedy. The company works closely with law enforcement. Doug Berto, the CEO of Aftermath Services, says the K-9 grants are a way to give back.
“In Carbondale, the canine Axel is really viewed as a community asset. So it’s just another way for us to help and reinforce the important nature and community service nature of law enforcement,” Berto said.
“We just wanna say thank you to everybody that voted. It’s greatly appreciated,” Williams said.