Manatee Kennel Club purchases K9 for sheriff’s office

The Manatee Kennel Club formally presented a $13,500 check to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office on Monday for the full purchase of Niko, a 16-month-old Dutch Shepherd.

When the time came for the sheriff’s office to retire 9-year-old K9 Barley, who joined the sheriff’s office in 2010, the club offered to pay for Niko, said Sgt. Steve Chenard.

The club once before donated $5,000 to offset the cost of a patrol K9, but club president Dan Dahlberg said this is the first time they were able to cover the full cost.

“We hope to continue on this relationship for years to come,” Dahlberg said.

Funding for Niko, said Dahlberg, came from the club participating in the 10-day Florida Classic Cluster dog show in Brooksville.

Niko, who is still in training with deputy Scott Buird, will be on the apprehension and narcotics team. Buird was also Barley’s handler and now keeps Barley as a family dog.

“We’re grateful,” said Dave Bristow, the sheriff’s office public information officer. “It’s outstanding.”

Hannah Morse: 941-745-7055, @mannahhorse