Last Update: 10/1/2012 2:05:00 PM
West Reading K-9 is top dog at fundraiser
West Reading's police dog, Fox, was the top dog at a Lehigh Valley competition that raised money for the memorial funds of two officers killed in the line of duty, including one of Berks County's own.
Fox's partner, Officer Wayne W. Holben, said the 3-year-old male German shepherd placed in three events among 21 K-9 teams from Berks and Lehigh that competed in the Salisbury Police K-9 Trial held Sept. 23 at the Salisbury High School Field in Lehigh County.
It was the second year for the event, which the Salisbury police officers organized last year to raise money for the Kyle D. Pagerly Memorial Fund. The first event, which drew friends and family of officers and others who paid an admission fee, raised $6,000 for the fund.
Pagerly was a Berks County deputy sheriff and one of his department's K-9 handlers. He was 28 when he was fatally shot June 29, 2011, while pursuing a man who had threatened people the previous day.
Proceeds from this year's event were divided between the Pagerly fund and the Robert Lasso Memorial Fund.
Lasso was a police officer with the Freemansburg Police Department in Northampton County. He was 31 when he was shot and killed in the line of duty on Aug. 11, 2011.
Fox, who is trained in patrol and narcotics detection, placed third in both agility and call off, and second in muzzle redirecting. He won the overall competition.
"It was something I wasn't expecting when I went up there," Holben said.
Holben, a 10-year veteran of the West Reading department, said that like most officers, he went mostly for the fun and camaraderie and to help support an event that honors fallen officers. K-9 officers share a special bond within the brotherhood of law enforcement, he said.
"It's a friendly event between officers," he said. "It was encouraging and comforting to see all the officers together to honor our fallen heroes. A lot of friends and family showed up to support the K-9 Trial."
Contact Steven Henshaw: 610-371-5028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.