Article written by Michael Dinan of NewCanaanite.com.
This article was originally published in the New Canaanite on 4/19/2016 and can be found here.
Since the New Canaan Police Department acquired its new K-9, Apollo, one year ago, and especially since the German shepherd dog started working at the July 4 Waveny fireworks, the animal has assisted in drug arrests, pursued burglars, trawled the high school for narcotics and searched for missing people.
The dog works up a healthy appetite doing all that work, and requires a nourishing, nutritious diet to stay sharp, according to K-9 Officer David Rivera.
And since Apollo started in the job, his food has been 100 percent provided for by a local business: Pet Pantry on Grove Street.
“It’s very convenient. It’s awesome,” Rivera said from outside the business on Monday that he visits regularly to pick up Apollo’s Orijen-brand food.
“Pet Pantry’s support just shows how the community has really come together to provide for this program. Pet Pantry has been an integral part of this. Without them it would be very, very difficult to have this program in existence.”
On Wednesday, the Police Commission will acknowledge both Pet Pantry and New Canaan Veterinary Hospital for the support they offer NCPD.
Pet Pantry owner Adam Jacobson said that his company is eager to support the communities they serve, feeding K-9 units in Wilton and New Canaan and soon, Greenwich—its three Connecticut locations.
“For us, in talking with Officer Rivera and other municipalities, we realize how expensive this is for a small community to handle,” Jacobson said.
“We realize that we want to ensure that the amazing work of local K-9 officers don’t go unrewarded. Both the K-9 and the officers who work with them work tirelessly in an effort to protect and serve everyone in our local communities where they operate. It’s a huge financial burden for the police department as well as the K-9 police officer to have to pay for the care of the K-9 dogs on their own. And by working with some of our pet food manufacturers and partners, we are able to provide the highest quality pet food on the market to the K-9 dogs absolutely free of charge.”
Rivera said he and Apollo have become not only regulars of Pet Pantry but also ambassadors because of its products and service.
“It’s great,” Rivera said. “I come in here all the time, get some of his play toys, balls, chew toys, leashes. Pet Pantry has everything we need.”
Rivera said he consulted Pet Pantry’s nutritionist prior to settling on a food program for Apollo.
“She had suggested we get different brands or different categories of Orijen name brand, and actually mix them together so that he has a balanced diet,” Rivera said.
Asked whether the K-9 is eating an organic or other specialty diet, Rivera said only: “It’s a very, very good dog food. He’s eating well.”