On January 10th, 2016, after the recent loss of K9 Jethro with the Canton, Ohio Police Department the idea behind K9s of Valor was launched. The sole mission was to do anything in my power to help police K9s stay safe. At first, the vision was to make sure our local police dogs had trauma and first aid kits to keep them safe. Very quickly, our mission spread to help K9s across the country and has allowed us to assist well over 300 K9 officers with that number growing every day. We have been able to help provide first aid kits, trauma kits, Narcan overdose reversal kits, care packages, essential supplies and heat alarm sensors because of the amazing support from all of you. Although, we have grown tremendously, our mission remains the same. We are solely here for the protection of our law enforcement heroes and will do anything in our power to help ensure they have the proper equipment and care they need and deserve.
We have been inundated with messages every day from K9 Jester supporters from nearly every state, concerned about the welfare of Jester. Although, it is not uncommon for K9s to be trained with another handler in the event their current handler leaves the agency, transfers departments or retires, we would much rather the K9 stay with his partner but realize this does not happen in every case. K9 Jester and Officer Walker captured the hearts of millions of supporters around the country by showing their incredible partnership together. We heard you loud and clear. We have been working behind the scenes to find out as much information as we could about Jester. We have spoken with the city, the handler, media and a group of supporters working tirelessly to help bring awareness to having Jester come home. We want to provide you with the information that we have found.
Based on our understanding and discussion, the city’s position is that K9 Jester is like an all star quarterback. One that they do not want give up or “trade” even if it were for two K9s because he is a top K9 in the area. It was the handlers decision to leave the department and K9 Jester must continue being a police K9. If the K9 went home with Officer Walker, K9 Jester would no longer be a working K9. Since this happened, K9 Jester has been newly partnered with Officer Gray. They are still in the training process and will begin a K9 academy next month. This is the information provided by the city, not our opinion.
Per our conversation with the city manager, K9 Jester is currently at the animal control shelter until a kennel can be built at the new handlers residence. The city advised us that it is a state of the art facility with air conditioning. K9 Jester is being visited 5-6 times a day by his handler. A local reporter, Steve Price, attempted to get a tour of the animal shelter and an on camera interview with the city manager but both requests were denied.
We realize that everybody is going to have their own opinion but we want you to have the information we found to form your own opinion and either take steps to assist with the campaign to bring Jester home or accept their decision to keep Jester with the department.
If you are not happy with this decision, we are going to provide you with the resources below to help with bringing K9 Jester home. There is currently a petition with over 157,000 signatures to bring Jester back home to Officer Walker and a GoFundMe to offer to the city for a replacement K9. The GoFundMe was created by a group of supporters including Tactical Treats working tirelessly to bring Jester home. Our organization was selected to be the beneficiary of the funds raised if the city refuses the offer. In the event that happens, the money would be used to assist a police department with little to no funding to create a new K9 program and will allow us to donate a trained police dog to them or you can request a refund from GoFundMe.
Sign the petition to help bring Jester home:
Donate to the GoFundMe to help bring Jester home:
Call the City of El Cajon:
Attend the city council meeting on September 11th at 7pm and voice your opinion:
City Council Chambers
200 Civic Center Way
El Cajon, California 92020
As we receive more information or updates, we will keep you posted. We wanted to put out this information to answer some questions and stop some misinformation on the internet. Do not hesitate to reach out or comment below if you have any questions. We do not have all of the answers but can try to answer what we can.
Founder and Director of K9s of Valor