Big Ben helps out K-9 units

WEATHERSFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — The Pittsburgh Police Department recently lost one of its K-9 officers after the dog was stabbed by a suspect late last month.

But it’s getting a replacement thanks to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Last year, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s foundation gave the New Castle Police Department $8,000 to buy K-9 Aldo.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation was established after a K-9 was shot and killed in Roethlisberger’s hometown of Findlay.

“Our funds are limited. Purchasing this dog for us, we are able to have a dog on every shift 24-7,” said New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem.

Weathersfield Police Officer Dave Blosser has been training dogs for more than 20 years and said the cost to buy and train a police dog could run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

“They are very valuable as long as they are utilized properly. As far as dogs doing area searches, tracking, the narcotic detection. They are a great visual deterrent,” Blosser said.

So Blosser put K-9 Dany to the test. His mission was to seek out a man hiding out in a home. That would be Trumbull County Bureau Chief Jeff Levkulich dressed in a dog bite suit.

They attached a Go-Pro camera to Dany. After a few minutes of sniffing around, Dany located Jeff in the house and latched on. It was 70 pounds of muscle coming at him at full force, with nowhere to run.

Jeff said he can’t imagine what it would feel like not having the suit on other than a lot of pain.

Because of the damage the dog can do, he is a tool used only in certain situations.

“If a situation comes about we have to use the dog, whether it’s at night to go in first or searching a wooded area. The dog is the first tool we are going to use because it can do the job more efficiently,” Blosser said.

And the dog is not just a partner, but a part of the family.

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