MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Many gathered at Ripping River Resort Campground in Marquette County to honor a member of the Marquette Police Department. K9 Nitro passed away unexpectedly last year, so as a way to celebrate his life a ‘Yappy Hour’ was held. This celebration featured live music, raffles, 50/50 drawings, merchandise sales, and more. The event raised over $2,700 dollars with all of the money raised going back to the Marquette Police Department to help them acquire an Explosives Detection K9 just like K9 Nitro.

Photo Courtesy: Upper Peninsula K9 Training Group-UPK9

“I was Nitro’s handler and I spent a lot of time with him working, in the car together, and we went out on a lot of deployments together,” John Waldo, President and CEO of the U.P. K9 Training Group said. “He was a part of my family, he was a member of the community and he was a crucial piece in bridging the gap between the police department and the community. He was a conversation starter, super friendly, just an outgoing kind of dog and loved everybody so it was easy for him to break down some barriers and do his very important job of finding guns, explosives and things like that.”

Having dogs like K9 Nitro and K9 Zepp provide huge advantages to Police Departments.

“What he brings to us is that if there is some sort of threat with a bomb of any threat of explosives device, we can go in and clear the building and mitigate the threat a lot quicker than humans can,” Waldo said. “We have that resource here with the Marquette Police Department that is centrally located because Nitro was the only explosives detection K9 in the Upper Peninsula so with him being gone it has left a huge void. We could also use him for look for firearms used in a crime, spent ammunition and things of that nature that would be harder for a human to pick up. He could typically find it pretty quick.”

You can keep up with K9 Zepp on his social medias. Click here for his Facebook and click here for his TikTok.

You can also follow K9 Nitro on Facebook, click here.