STRATFORD, Conn. — With one four-legged officer retiring earlier this year and another one stepping down fast on his heels, you might think the Stratford Police Department’s K-9 force was going to the dogs.
Enter the Trap Falls Kennel Club, a Shelton-based group that hopes to raise $12,000 to help the police department buy a new member for the ruff-and-ready roster.
“K-9s are an extremely powerful tool for these departments. We want to help out,” said Chris Sweetwood, an American Kennel Club delegate and member of the chapter, which covers the northeast corner of Fairfield County.
The 48-year-old local club has been supporting K-9 activities for a few years, holding fundraising drives to buy dogs for Redding, Monroe, Orange, Westport, Fairfield and Wilton, Sweetwood said.
The group started its efforts in Newtown in the wake of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. The club made a donation to the police department earlier in the year and members were saddened to hear the department’s K-9 — who had assisted during aftermath of the school massacre — had to be put down not long afterward.
Trap Falls helped raise funds for a new force member and the idea took off, Sweetwood said.
The kennel club has set up a GoFundMe page and, while initial donations have been slow, Sweetwood said he hope to get the word out so Stratford will have a new dog ready by the time another retires in a couple of months, leaving the force with just one K-9.
AKC Reunite, a nonprofit organization that provides microchip locators to dog owners, will also give matching funds of up to $5,000 towards the Stratford goal, Sweetwood said.
Anyone wishing to donate directly to the police department, especially those with larger donations, can mail a check payable to “Stratford Police Department K-9 Fund” to Stratford Police Department, 900 Longbrook Ave., Stratford, CT 06614, ATTENTION: Chief’s Office, K-9 Fund. All others can go to the GoFundMe site .
Those interested in more information on the Trap Falls Kennel Club should visit its website . The club covers all breeds and AKC now welcomes mixed breed dogs to participate in its activities, including agility and obedience competitions.