It has been a tough couple year for area K9 officers & their handlers. In February the Duluth Police Department lost Luna during an officer involved shooting. Just two years ago K9 officer Haas was also shot and killed in an incident, in that shooting the K9 handler officer Aaron Haller was also shot.

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Luna was purchased after Haas was killed. Now Duluth is looking to replace Luna, however replace in these situations is not a sensitive enough word. The dogs are considered a part of the police force and a family member to the officers. It's very tragic when one dies. There have been funeral processions for both of these dogs as they are honored for their service and their ultimate sacrifice in keeping us safe.

Also, just earlier this week the St. Louis County Sheriff lost their K9 Wesson to cancer.

Kwik Trip officials decided to donate $5,000 to the Northland K9 Foundation. District leader Bridget Field told KBJR6 that this was a way of saying thanks to the Duluth PD.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Duluth Police Department for their service and to provide a donation that will positively impact our community,"

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken says the money will go towards purchasing and training a new dog. That costs anywhere from 15,000-20,000 dollars. They are just beginning the process of getting a new dog.

K9 police dogs are used for many different purposes. In an article from the Duluth News Tribune, Sgt. Wayne Toewe describes K9's as the ip of the spear of crime fighting and they use the dogs to locate suspects in the danger zone. That puts them right out in front and in a vulnerable spot at times.

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