Sheriff’s office selling stuffed animal replicas of K-9s as fundraiser.

March 2, 2021

K-9 Laz with his “mini me.”

Sheriff’s office selling stuffed animal replicas of K-9s as fundraiser.

K-9 Krieger with his “mini me.”

HART — The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office is selling “mini-me” stuffed K-9s to help fund the K-9 program.

The stuffed animals, which closely resemble the real K-9 officers Krieger and Laz, are selling for $15 apiece.

They are equipped with their own personalized work vest, sheriff collar, and dog tag. All proceeds go directly to help fund and maintain the K-9 program.

The stuffed animals can purchased in the sheriff’s office lobby Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you would prefer to not enter the lobby, call the sheriff’s office at 231-873-2121 to make arrangements for outside pickup.

Sheriff Craig Mast resurrected the K-9 program in Oceana County in 2017 shortly after being elected. Mast unveiled the first K-9 on Oceana’s department in nearly 10 years when German Shepherd Krieger came on board.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan in 2018, the sheriff’s office added another K-9 to the department about a year ago. Krieger was purchased in 2017 and was trained to alert deputies of unlawful controlled substances, which at the time included marijuana. Once a dog has been trained to search for specific narcotics, it’s nearly impossible to remove one substance from the dog’s training and understanding. So, Belgium Malinois Laz joined the force after marijuana was legalized.

Kreiger, who is an excellent tracking dog that also does extremely well in schools and at public events, continues to serve the department with Laz.

Financial support for the program has come from community donations “instead of weighing on taxpayer dollars,” said Mast. The stuffed animal fundraiser will help with funding the program and pay for supplies that the dogs need such as specialized training balls.

Mast said he greatly appreciates the community donations that the sheriff’s office has received in order to launch the program and keep it going.

“The community has been very generous with the dogs,” he said.

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