Celebration in Cedar City goes to the dogs as K-9 officers show off skills for the public

CEDAR CITY — It was the dog days of summer already in Cedar City Monday night as hundreds of people gathered for a canine celebration at Main Street Park.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officer Josh Carver and his K-9 partner Carlo during “Police Dogs and Hot Dogs in the Park” event sponsored by Friends of Iron County Police K9, Cedar City, Utah, June 24, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies, including K-9 officers, were on hand to greet the public. A few of the highly trained dogs showed off their skills during popular demonstrations held throughout the evening. Police, fire and emergency vehicles, including an Intermountain Life Flight helicopter, were on full display for people of all ages to get an up-close look.

The two-hour event, called “Police Dogs and Hot Dogs in the Park,” was organized as a fundraiser for the Friends of Iron County Police K9, a local nonprofit organization that promotes awareness and support for dogs serving in law enforcement. 

After lining up for free hot dogs, folks of all ages mingled around the park and looked around at the various police and emergency vehicles on display. 

In the demonstration area, police dogs showed off their skills, including how they subdue suspects. Iron County Sheriff’s deputies staged a mock SWAT team raid, blasting open a practice door with a flash-bang explosive, after which the K-9 promptly burst through the doorway and took down the “suspect,” who was wearing a protective suit.

Carlo, a K-9 officer for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, was able to find a handgun in a leather holster that was hidden in the grass multiple times. Carlo, a chocolate lab, is the partner of wildlife officer Josh Carver.

A “suspect” is taken down during a K-9 demonstration at “Police Dogs and Hot Dogs in the Park” event sponsored by Friends of Iron County Police K9, Cedar City, Utah, June 24, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Sgt. Ryan Bauer of Utah Highway Patrol told those in the crowd that Friends of Iron County Police K9 provides much needed support for law enforcement dogs, particularly when the animals are ready to retire from active duty.

“We want to give them a really good home they can retire to,” Bauer said as he explained how the nonprofit organization helps financially to make sure the dogs continue to be well cared for. 

“We take over all the medical bills and the food and stuff for the handlers, so it is not at their expense, and that can be quite expensive.” Bauer added.

Monday night’s turnout exceeded expectations, organizers said, noting that nearly 700 hot dogs were served. For more information about Friends of Iron County Police K9, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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