Donations sought for K9 officer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Red Willow County Chief Deputy Joe Koetter and K-9 Officer Luna join area residents for the April Coffee with a Cop meeting at the Bieroc Cafe April 11.
Bruce Baker/McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. — The Red Willow County Sheriff’s Department is seeking local donations to help fund the daily services of beloved K-9 Officer Luna, as well as to offset upcoming expenses associated with a new kennel purchase.

Several local businesses have been particularly generous supporters of the county’s K-9 unit and Chief Deputy Joe Koetter hopes to take some of the pressure off by way of local fundraising efforts. He is in the early stages of seeking partners, as well as donors.

During Tuesday’s Coffee with a Cop meeting at the Bieroc Cafe, Chief Deputy Koetter said McCook’s Red Willow Animal Clinic donates medical care for Luna, MacFee’s Paw Spa & Inn provides grooming services and Orscheln Farm and Home regularly donates her food.

“We appreciate all of them donating items for us and just hope to open the door to others,” he said.

Chief Deputy Koetter is anticipating a new police vehicle in the near future, which means retrofitting a kennel for Luna. “Experience has told me we are rarely able to transfer an existing kennel, due to the difference in vehicle styles, so we’re anticipating the need to purchase a new one,” he said.

The sheriff’s department is seeking donations for the kennel purchase, which is anticipated to cost several hundred dollars in materials with Koetter doing the welding himself, as well as to help with food, medical care and equipment needs for Luna throughout the year. Donors can send funds directly to the Red Willow County Sheriff’s Department, Att: K-9 Fund, at 516 Norris Avenue, McCook NE 69001.

McCook Chief of Police Isaac Brown also attended Tuesday’s coffee meeting and offered praise for the county’s K-9 service.

“They are widely used by other departments but we probably call on them the most. There is rarely a week that goes by where we don’t utilize their services. It has been very, very, successful and they do a good job,” said Chief Brown.

The Red Willow County Sheriff’s Department, McCook Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol regularly rely on Luna’s services in the region. She often assists other neighboring county law enforcement agencies and has also been utilized in Kansas at times.

Chief Deputy Koetter and Luna will be making the rounds at area elementary schools in the coming weeks, hiding contraband and showcasing Luna’s detection skills to the delight of area youth.

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