Aftermath Announces the 2018 K9 Grant Competition
The Aftermath K9 Grant was created to showcase, support, and reward the unique contributions made by K9 units across the country and, indirectly, to recognize the communities where we all live and serve. The month-long competition awards grants to K9 programs across the country for maintenance or program creation, safety equipment, training, or other costs associated with a K9 unit. Officers and community members nominate and vote for local departments; the departments with the most votes win.
Open to law enforcement organizations nationwide, Aftermath’s 7th Annual K9 Grant Competition involved just over 3,300 agencies. Throughout the contest, departments were encouraged to participate on social media and by promoting the contest to colleagues, friends, and neighbors. Voters cast their votes online each day by visiting the Aftermath website. Over 331,000 total votes were received in 2017 – more than double the number of votes received in the previous year.
Starting next week, we plan to do it all over again. In 2018, we will give away over $16,500 in grant money to 8 deserving departments. Will your local agency be one of them? Read on to find out how your favorite heroes can become one of this year’s Top Dogs:
How can I enter?
The K9 Grant Nomination period opens on October 1st and continues through October 16th. Anyone can nominate their favorite K9 or agency, but nominations must be received by the cut off date. Remember: K9s MUST be nominated to participate in the voting period.
and When Can I vote?
Voting for the K9 Grant begins on October 18th and continues through November 2nd. You may vote once every 12 hours on the K9 Grant website, and ONCE on our Instagram page (@aftermathk9grant), so be sure to follow us! 2018 K9 Grant winners will be announced on November 5th, 2018.
Who can enter and who can vote?
Any K9 unit in the US is eligible for nomination. Everyone, from officers to community members to local businesses, can nominate their local department. Anyone over the age of 6 with a valid email address may vote!
Who were Last Year’s Top Dogs?
The winner of our 2018 K9 Grant came from the heart of central Illinois. The Pekin Police Department employs 56 officers, including K9 Officer Ahen and his partner, Sgt. Rob Jones. The Dutch Shepard has worked with the Pekin PD for 5 years, since he was just 2. The K9 and his partner are assigned to routine patrol, but Ahren’s multi-dimensional skillset is called upon in many situations. In 2016, Pekin came in a close second to the top dog, K9 Clint of Alamogordo, NM.
Today, Ahen is nearing retirement. With the help of the K9 Grant, Pekin PD was able to purchase and train another dog, who is waiting in the wings to assume his role. We’ve created a special video so you can learn more about K9 Officer Ahen and Sgt. Jones. You can view it on the Aftermath Youtube Channel.
Other 2017 winners included departments in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Kansas. Will your favorite K9 make this year’s winner’s list? Get ready to vote next Monday and find out!
How Can I Get A Jump on the Competition?
Previous winners have said that the best way to secure a spot in the winner’s circle is to start early. Utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Reaching out to local businesses and news media also helps to increase visibility and community support. Feel free to drop us a line and let us know if your local radio, TV station, newspaper, or internet news outlet shares your story.
Most importantly: tell your friends, neighbors, and co-workers to vote every day. And be sure to bookmark our 2018 K9 Grant Homepage, which will go live on October 1st!
We look forward to sharing your happy tail in November!