K-9 Unit

K-9 Unit photo 2017

Best Friends of the Force

Our K-9 Unit has been in existence for more than 19 years. 

Officer Dennis Funari has had the honor of handling three dogs during that time: Floppy, Jaro, and most recently, Chico who passed away in March 2017. 

Due to the success of the K-9 unit, support of the community, and generous donations received by the Kiwanis Club, we have acquired three new dogs: Ricker, Echo and Max.

The dogs and their handlers, Ptl. Dennis Funari, Josh Frey and  JP Toth, completed their training and were officially sworn in on Monday, December 11,2017. 

Read "Ricker, Echo, and Max Begin New Chapter for K-9 Unit," on page 5 

Strong Start for the New Unit

In the first 6 months of 2018, the unit was deployed 142 times. 95 were for Community Relations activities, including increased presence in schools and high density areas such as Crocker Park. The Enforcement activities include 16 mutual aid requests for other agencies, 25 sniffs, 9 area searches, and 5 force protection.  Force protection, while low in number, is significant for reducing the need for officer involved use of force and encouraging surrender of dangerous suspects, reducing the risk of injury to both. 18 times the deployment of the K-9 directly led to arrests/citable offenses.

Donate to the K-9 Unit

The Westlake Kiwanis' Westlake Kiwanis Youth Foundation Inc. started a “Canine Fund” in late 2016 that raised approximately $36,000 for the acquisition, training, and deployment of the unit in 2017. 

The Westlake Kiwanis are continuing to accept donations for the ongoing expenses of the unit.  Please make your check payable to Westlake Kiwanis, note on or with the check "Canine Fund," and mail to

Westlake Kiwanis

25935 Detroit Rd., Box 179

Westlake, OH 44145

Thank you for Your Support in the Grant Competition

Although we were not one of the winners of the 2017 Aftermath K9 Grants, we appreciate the support of everyone voted for us!