The American Kennel Club (AKC®) and the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) joined forces for the first AKC/USPCA K9 Detection Dog Challenge held on Sunday, November 15th at the PNC Arena in New York City.
The first-of-its-kind event brought together the best of the best in narcotics and explosives K9 detection dogs from around the nation to demonstrate the important role dogs play in law enforcement and keeping the country safe.
The event showcased 10 narcotic dog teams and 10 explosives detection dog teams who were invited by the AKC to compete against each other to see which K9 could find illegal narcotics and explosive substances the quickest.
The teams navigated obstacles and sorted through distractions to find the hidden items. They were scored based on the accuracy of their search, perfection of their alert (telling the handler where the hidden item is), and the find itself (a combination of the ability of the dog and the handler to accurately tell judges where the hide is located).
“The AKC has a long-held and deep respect for K9 officers and the ways in which they serve and protect their communities,” said Brandi Munden, Vice President of Communications for the American Kennel Club. “As the USPCA recently became a part of the AKC family, we felt this was a great way to entertain and educate people about the work these steadfast K9 officers and their human partners do. It was a joy to watch.”
The winners included:
1st: Michelle Lyman and K9 Peppers, Raleigh Police Department
2nd: Tracy Stuart and K9 Freya, Stockton University Police in New Jersey
3rd: Kaitlyn Schamberger and K9 Zada, NYPD Transit
4th: Alison Gentile and K9 Mac, MTA PD NY
5th: Rich Rodden and K9 Kasey, GMC Security Global Police
1st: Dao Meunseveng and K9 Bero, Des Moines Iowa Police
2nd: Joe Angarone and K9 Bela, Mercer County, NJ Prosecutors Office
3rd: Larry McArdle and K9 Zoey, New York Department of Corrections
4th: Kolby Kraft and K9 Kye, Charleston, IL Police Department
5th: Jared Davis and K9 Bella, Lowndes County, GA Sheriff’s Department
The USPCA K9 Detection Challenge will become an annual event, and while this year’s inaugural event was invitational, interested participants can contact the AKC to be a part of the next competition, according to Munden.
The challenge aired on ESPN on Sunday, November 28th and is available to view on demand through the month of December.