MONTE VISTA - The Monte Vista police department’s K-9 unit is very grateful to the community of Monte Vista for all the donations they have received for the program during the past year. Since the program’s start, they have been able to raise almost $40K for the program through donations and fundraisers.
The unit is made up of two K-9 teams with Corporal Heath Hart and his black lab Jake, and Officer Ezekiel Sisneros and his yellow lab Ruckus. The dogs are highly trained and are an effective part of the police department efforts to stop illegal narcotic drug trafficking. In Feb. 2019, while conducting a search warrant with Federal Agents, K-9 Jake located around a kilo of illegal narcotics.
“The K-9 unit is so important to give us an edge on combating the opioid and other drugs of choice issues in the Valley,” commented police Chief John Rosecrans.
The K-9 unit has had a great deal of support from local businesses in the city including Big R who provides food for the dogs. “They (Big R) have been doing this for two years now, and we don’t know what we would do without their help,” stated Corporal Hart.
Other big supporters include the Monte Vista Rotary Club, Rio Grande Savings and Loans, Outcalt Foundation, Hart of the Valley, and Monte Vista Kiwanis Club. There have also been several individuals who have offered significant support to the program including, Margaret Hurd, Ray and Colette Skeff, Rebecca Rian, Manny and Cindy Hemmerling, and Patrice Wise.
Last year there were two fundraisers for the K-9 unit which included a golf tournament and an outdoor depot. The funds raised from the events go to paying for the canines medical and dental care, safety equipment, training/seminars to support the K-9 teams, training equipment, and health supplements, K-9 working equipment/vehicles, and more. The K-9 unit will be hosting the two fundraisers again this summer.