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K-9 heroes honored at annual fundraiser
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K-9 heroes honored at annual fundraiser

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Protecting K9 Heroes honored K-9s and their handlers recently for "their service to their community and dedication to their departments," according to a news release.

The handlers, which mostly hailed from Northwest Indiana, received a custom portrait of their K-9 and a plaque during the nonprofit's annual Bash for the Blue and Camo 2 fundraiser Sept. 27.

Protecting K9 Heroes presented five handlers and their K-9s with a plaque and portrait, including K-9 Match and his handler, Officer Shane Adams, of St. John Police Department; K-9 Dante and his handler, Officer Luke Tambrini, of Lynwood (Illinois) Police Department; K-9 Niko and his handler, Officer Carl Swan, of Russiaville Police Department; K-9 Lt. Six and his handler, Lt. Mark Elliott, of Marion (Ohio) Police Department; and K-9 Dooly and his handler, Cpl. Benjamin Ferrero, of Savannah (Georgia) Police.

The rest of the handlers and their four-legged comrades were honored with a little something extra.

K-9 Igar, who served alongside Cpl. JD Sickles at Dyer Police Department for nine years, retired in August. Shortly after his retirement, K-9 Igar was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, the release states.

Protecting K9 Heroes presented Sickles and K-9 Igar with a portrait, plaque and custom law enforcement flag crafted out of wood.

"There was no better way that we could honor Igar and his family except to celebrate his life with a lot of awards and K9 memorabilia," the organization said in a release.

Cpl. Amber Wolf, with Lake County Sheriff's Department, recently adopted her K-9 partner of 10 years, Sasja, after Sasja retired.

Shortly after retiring, Sasja was diagnosed with "an extremely aggressive form of cancer," the release states. She died on Sept. 11.

At the event, Wolf was given a portrait, plaque, a custom law enforcement flag and a memorial box. The organization also held a celebration of life for Sasja during the event.

Sgt. Ryan Henderson, along with his K-9 Satan, of Texas, received the "Hero Team of the Year Award" after being separated for nearly five years. Henderson also was given a plaque and portrait.

The nonprofit gave Officer Ryan Trahan and his partner, K-9 Zeros the Purple Heart Award for "their heroic efforts to their community," the release states. When Trahan attempted a traffic stop in late August, the suspect shot at Trahan's car and fled, according to the release. Though wounded, Trahan and K-9 Zeros ran after the suspect, the release states.

Protecting K9 Heroes was presented with a $1,359-check from Ted's Feed Store following an eight-week fundraiser for the nonprofit.

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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