Blair County Sheriff, Jim Ott is asking for your help to keep the county’s K9 officer safe. K9 Rik came to Blair County more than a year-and-a-half ago, but he’s not getting as much work as expected.
The sheriff’s office says it’s not that Rik isn’t needed. The problem is that the county doesn’t have the proper vehicle for transporting him. His handler, Corporal Justin Bennett says the current K9 vehicle, which is used, keeps breaking down and isn’t safe for him or Rik.
“A K9 requires a specialty vehicle to really make sure that he’s safe. It has a heating system, a temperature control system that allows me, if I’m not in the vehicle to still check on him because it pages me the temperature inside the vehicle so I can constantly check,” he explains.
Rik is one of only two dogs in the state that’s trained to detect bombs. He also trained to go on patrol with law enforcement, to track missing persons and to help apprehend fugitives.
To contribute to the $35,000 cost of getting Rik a safe vehicle, go to the Sheriff Office Facebook Page, their Go-Fund-Me Page, or go to Central PA Community Foundation, c/o Blair County K-9 Foundation 1330 11th Avenue., Altoona, PA 16601 or call 814-944-6102.