Faribault Co. K9 Unit seeking some support

ON THE TRAIL OF CRIME — Zeus has been the K9 dog for Faribault County since October 2016.

BLUE EARTH — The Faribault County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit is in the running to receive grant money, and it needs votes.

The funding is through the Aftermath K9 Grant that was founded to “showcase, support and reward the contributions made by law enforcement and their K9 units across the country,” according to the Aftermath Services website.

For this grant, local departments are nominated by officers and community members, with the top five departments that earn the most votes receiving a total of $15,000 worth of grant money. First place is $5,000, with each successive award going down $1,000 to fifth place.

According to the Aftermath Services website, more than 3,000 law enforcement organizations participated last year, earning a combination of about 152,000 votes.

Deputy Brittney Gehrking said this is the first time the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office has been nominated, with the funds likely going toward equipment and veterinary bills for the Zeus, the K9 dog for Faribault County.

Gehrking has had Zeus since he was 12 weeks old and always knew she wanted him to be a K9 dog. After training and certification, the K9 unit was started in October 2016.

“It was always my dream,” she said. “The sheriff and the deputy kind of let me run with it and have been very supportive. It never would have happened without their blessing.”

Zeus is mainly used for narcotics and tracking, with his biggest bust happening in 2016 during a traffic stop in which marijuana and $44,320 in cash were found in the car.

“The dog pretty much pays for himself,” Gehrking said.

To vote, visit http://www.aftermath.com/k9-grant

Voting ends Nov. 7.