About the Campaign
K9 Zeus is a 5.5-year-old black sable German Shepherd Dog certified in Patrol, Tracking/Trailing, and Narcotics. Zeus has been with K9 Handler/Deputy Sheriff Brittney Gehrking of the Faribault County MN Sheriff’s Office since he was 12-weeks old. Deputy Gehrking bought Zeus as a pet, but she’d always wanted to be a K9 handler, which is one of the reasons why she became a cop.
A burglary-in-progress, back in May 2016, sparked the interest of a K9 program for Faribault County’s Chief Deputy. At the time, the department had not had a K-9 unit in over 11 years. The chief deputy advised Deputy Gehrking to research the start-up costs of a K-9 unit and work out the details. It was decided, after she had K9 Zeus evaluated by a K9 trainer, that he had the drive to work.
Deputy Gehrking sent K9 Zeus to a trainer to get imprinted on narcotics before she started handler school. In September 2016, K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking successfully passed certification in narcotics detection and she then donated K9 Zeus to the sheriff’s department at no cost. With help from a fellow K9 handler, Deputy Gehrking trained K9 Zeus to track for suspects and missing people, locate evidence, and protect her if anyone tries to hurt her or her fellow officers.
Deputy Gehrking and K9 Zeus hit the streets together on October 31st, 2016. On November 1st, 2016, Deputy Gehrking deployed K9 Zeus on his first narcotics sniff of a vehicle, where he alerted and 1.5oz of narcotics were located in the vehicle. In December 2016, she deployed K9 Zeus on a vehicle that I stopped and the dog alerted. Narcotics were located in the vehicle, along with about $50,000.
Another proud deployment Deputy Gehrking had with Zeus, among several others, happened in the early morning hours of July 2019. One of their fellow deputies came across a motorcyclist, with severe injuries, who was laying on the highway. The victim had been hit by a truck and the truck fled the scene but was located abandoned a few miles away. Officers used infrared technology in the area where the truck was abandoned but a suspect was not located. K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking were called out in an attempt to track the suspect. Once she and K9 Zeus started tracking, Zeus located the suspect hiding in a cornfield 150 yards from his abandoned truck.
K9 Zeus loves to work. He loves playing with his fellow deputies and he loves the breath mints their Chief Deputy keeps for him in the office. Throughout the 4 years, K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking have worked together, they have assisted in getting several pounds of illegal narcotics off of the streets, along with tracking down and locating dangerous suspects. Deputy Gehrking couldn’t be more proud to be K9 Zeus’s partner.
Here’s how this equipment both helps Zeus and Dty. Gehrking on the job:
An in-squad kennel allows the K9 to be safely transported when on the job! It fits securely into the rear seat of the squad and provides roll-cage level protection while a K9 is at work, on the road, and away from home.
The door pop allows the K9 handler officer to remotely unlatch the door so their K9 may exit the squad car and come to their aid, should a call for service take a turn for the more dangerous; while, the heat alarm system monitors the interior air temperature of the squad car and sets off the sirens, lights, alarms, and rolls down the windows of the car to help ensure that a K9 doesn’t suffer from heat trauma if the temperature rises into a dangerous threshold.
NOTE: The funds collected as part of this fundraiser will be allocated to the agency’s Equipment Grant Application with Hero K9 for their K9. Should the application status change and/or if donations received are in excess of the goal amount, donations will be directed to the organization’s general fund to provide additional equipment grants and cover operational costs and/or other business-related expenses.