Canine team fundraiser continues to grow

Fourth annual event scheduled for Oct. 17


STANDISH — The fourth annual chicken dinner and silent auction to raise money for the Arenac County Canine Team is scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Standish Knights of Columbus Hall.

The event has drawn more people each year, according to organizer Jody Wilk.

“Last year we saw approximately 500 people come through,” she said. “It’s gone up each year. Our first year started small. I want to say we had a couple hundred people.”

Wilk said the fundraiser raised more than $5,000 in 2012, and she hopes to raise at least that same amount this year.

“Last year we made $5,500, so I’d at least like to match what we did last year,” she said. “It’d be nice to do more, because we’ve done more each year.”

Funds from the event help pay for training, equipment, food and other costs associated with the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department’s drug dog Sonic.

“We got a company to donate his food now, but if something that were to happen with that, we’d use it for that,” Wilk said. “It’s used for equipment and training equipment.”

“It would also cover for if we need to get a replacement dog too,” she added. “It was close to 10 years that we went without a dog, and we don’t want the county to go without a dog now.”

Wilk said she and others have been fundraising to establish and maintain the canine team since 2010 after several students got caught dealing prescription drugs at Standish-Sterling Central High School. Sonic became a member of the county police force in 2011.

“He officially became a deputy with the department in August 2011,” she said. “So he’s been with us a little more than two years now.”

Sonic, a Dutch Shepherd, is trained to locate drugs and to track missing persons. Wilk said guests at the fundraiser will be able to see him, and also watch how he works with the county K-9 officer, Deputy Trevor Sprague.

“We’ll actually set up the Behavioral Shaping Device so people can see how Deputy Sprague does some training on his own with Sonic,” she said.

The device has five boxes, and one will have drugs in it, while another one, triggered by Sprague, will eject a tennis ball, Wilk said. It trains K-9s to focus on the drugs and not get distracted, Wilk said.

Dinner runs from 5-7 p.m. The auction, along with several raffles will continue after dinner, according to an event flyer. Tickets in advance are $7 for adults and $3 for children. Children 5 and younger eat for free. Tickets are available at Broughton & Sprague Law Firm, 808 W. Cedar St. in Standish.

Tickets $8 for adults and $4 for children at the door.

For more information, call 989-329-3168.


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