Local youth raises funds for police K-9 Unit

Landon Weyenberg (center) poses with K-9 Officer Billy Gilman (left) dog Ivy and Officer Robbie Owens (right) with Blitz. Photo courtesy of Angela Weyenberg.

Landon Weyenberg (center) poses with K-9 Officer Billy Gilman (left) dog Ivy and Officer Robbie Owens (right) with Blitz. Photo courtesy of Angela Weyenberg.

By Charles Kelleher Harris

When most of think of those who protect and serve, we imagine them standing on two legs. But some of the greatest assets to law enforcement agencies around the world work on four legs.

Recently the Mint Hill Police Department acquired too such crime fighters.

Blitz and Ivy are Dutch German Shepherds trained specifically to assist police in a variety of areas.

“We use them for tracking, trailing, appre- hension and evidence searches,” said Mint Hill Police Officer Robbie Owens who along with Officer Billy Gilman manages the K-9 unit.

Since the K-9s are often placed in precarious situations, their protection is important.

To that end, a Charlotte boy decided to make things a little safer for Blitz and Ivy.

“I care for the dogs that help us in everyday situations,” said 12 year- old Landon Weyenberg, “I wanted to be sure that these dogs, were better protected, as they work to protect us.

Weyenberg decided that he would hold a fundraiser to help purchase bullet proof vests for Blitz and Ivy.

Weyenberg said that after hearing about Mint Hill PD’s recent K- 9 acquisition, he called Chief Tim Ledford and inquired about K-9 vests. Ledford explained that the purchase was costly, around $800 per vest.

With the help of his parents, Weyenberg created a fundraising site at CROWDRISE.com. Word spread quickly and in only four days $1,800 was raised.

“It was truly a testament to how giving people can really be,” said Landon’s mom

Angela, “Of course it makes me proud that my 12 year old son chose to do something of this nature, in order to help with a need for one of our local communities. But what makes it really great was that he chose something that he is passionate about…dogs!”

Landon, who attends Hickory Grove Christian School, hopes that his efforts will help inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Meanwhile Angela said that the entire family has been motivated.

“This project has given our whole family reasons to continue this cause,” she said.

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Mint Hill Police dogs selected, begin training March 3

blitz Blitz is one of two police dogs selected and purchased by the Mint Hill Police to join forces with Officers Gilman and Owens. The officers will pick up their K-9 partners, and begin 5 weeks of intensive training beginning March 3.

Blitz is described as “Super social and loves to work. He is a physical specimen in agility and athleticism.”

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