Operation K9 Competition Returns
SUPERIOR, Wis.– The 7th annual Operation K9 event is back in Superior this Thursday evening after it was canceled last year.
You can watch and meet 14 different dogs and their handlers from five K9 units compete at the UWS field on the corner of Belknap Street and Mortorelli Drive.
This event is hosted by the Northland K9 Foundation to raise money to continue supporting police and sheriff’s office K9 units.
We were able to meet the German Shepherd Riggs from the Duluth Police Department who showed us how he can track down hidden explosives.
Riggs is one of 14 dogs competing on Thursday in a variety of events that each dog specializes in like agility courses different crime scenarios while also getting to meet children and community members.
This event is valuable for many reasons as fundraising is one of the primary ways K9 units are able to continue providing for the community but being able to interact with the public is one of their favorite parts.
“It’s one of the best events I get to be apart of, just to see the joy on the kids faces when they finally get to meet he police dog they’ve been hoping to meet, they get to collect the trading cards for each dog, they just have a ball,” Dean Bauers, an Officer from the Duluth Police Department, and Handler of Riggs, said.
Officer Bauers says its a good chance to show children that K9 dogs are approachable and friendly and for officers to make an impression on those they serve but the partnerships between dog and handler is unlike any other.
“It’s really difficult to keep that separation when you spend almost 24 hours a day with the dog, they quickly become part of your family and they steal a piece of your heart and he’s one of my best buddies for sure,” Bauers said.
Along with Duluth PD, the event will showcase dogs from K9 units in Hermantown, Superior, Saint Louis and Douglas Counties.
The event will take place from 4 to 7:30 Thursday evening there will be a silent auction apparel and souvenirs for sale, and there is a meet and greet with the dogs as well.
The event is free for whoever wants to attend.