K-9 Luca of Bedford, OH, goes through five tennis balls a week.
At just 18 months, K-9 Luca is about to become certified working for the Bedford Police Department in Bedford, Ohio. After the German Shepherd’s handler sustained an injury during training, Luca underwent training a second time with his new handler, Patrolman David Kempski.
Kempski explains how “the training process was hard on both of us—Luca was adjusting to a new handler and a totally new environment.” While Kempski trained for the first time, K-9 Luca already knew the routine of training. Due to the physical and mental demands, Patrolman Kempski describes the training as “the hardest thing I have done since being a police officer.”
Despite challenges at work, Luca has become a fantastic addition to Kempski’s home life. The K-9 has been living with his handler since June, so Kempski has gotten to know the Luca as “a lovable puppy that just wants to lick everyone.” Luca does especially well with his handler’s 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons.
Luca is known for his love of tennis balls, which he can chew on all day. Kempski explains, “He lives for them—he probably goes through five a week!” In fact, Luca got a donation of all the old tennis balls from a local athletic club, so he is one happy K-9.
Once he is certified and ready for duty, Luca will be primarily be used to supplement the patrol division. Kempski particularly looks forward to supporting other officers and departments. He explains, “If they need help with a vehicle sniff or tracking someone who just committed a crime, I am there to help. Sometimes just the presence of a dog makes things go easier.”
The funds from the National Police Dog Foundation helped to pay for a portion of the purchase and training costs of Luca and his handler. Kempski is thankful for the donation, describing his partnership with Luca as “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The National Police Dog Foundation looks forward to Luca becoming certified and beginning a long and fulfilling career.
The purchasing and training of K-9s can be very expensive and most K-9 departments simply do not have the funds they need. The National Police Dog Foundation’s K-9 Purchasing Fund and K-9 Training Fund helped fund the grant to this law enforcement K-9 unit to assist in the costs for the purchasing and the initial training for the K-9. But we need your help. To donate, please click on the button below. The K-9s really need your help.
K-9 Luca at training