Name: K-9 “Riki”
Agency: Ft. McCoy Police Department, US Army, Ft. McCoy, WI (Dogs for Defense Inc. contract provider) U.S. State Department WPPS, Kabul, Afghanistan
Discipline: Single Purpose Explosive Detection
Breed: German Shepherd
Date of Birth: March 1st, 2004
End Of Watch: November 24, 2017
Formal Schooling and Certifications: K-9 Axel attended a specialized one on one training course to become an ATF Tactical K-9 at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. K-9 Axel certified annually as a Patrol K-9 through the North American Police Work Dog Association.
Career Stats: K-9 Axel conducted over 200 high-risk operations in his career all over the United States, leading to the apprehension or surrendering of countless violent criminals.
K-9 Axel was specifically bred to be a Police K-9 Hero at Von der Haus Gill German Shepherds, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. At the young age of only a year old, Axel was hand selected by the ATF Special Response Team (SRT) to become their newest Tactical K-9 in 2010. There are only five active ATF SRT K-9’s in the world, and Axel was one of them throughout his career.
Axel specialized in conducting search warrants and missions to locate and apprehend the nation’s most wanted and dangerous criminals. Axel was certified and remained proficient in Patrol, Tracking, Article Searches, Building Searches, Area Searches and Tactical Obedience. Axel routinely performed fast roping from helicopters, rappelling from towers and buildings, water insertions, rural tracking, and urban operations with some of the most elite police and military units in the world. Due to the high physical demand of his job Axel was forced to retire at the age of eight years old from the ATF as he was already physically beginning to slow down.
When it came time for Axel to retire from his government service in April of 2017, his handler was unable to keep him, as he was getting a new one-year-old Malinois to replace Axel. Having two alpha male dogs in the house would be difficult to manage. After all, Axel was used to being with his handler 24/7, going to work with him, as well as going on vacations with his family. Therefore, Axel needed a new home for his retirement so the handler could bond with his new partner. When the Project K-9 Hero Foundation got the call to help support him, we jumped at the opportunity.
Even though Axel was born and bred to be a K-9 Hero, he needed a home to live in after he had given so much of his life to our nation. Axel no longer had funding from his agency to take care of his medical bills or food. However, we at the Project K9 Hero Foundation vowed that we would cover those costs for Axel and ensure that he received the best care possible in a loving home for the rest of his life. Axel is so highly trained and specialized that a K-9 of his caliber can not be placed in just any home. Therefore, the decision was made to adopt K-9 Axel as one of our Project K-9 Hero Ambassadors so he may travel the nation with K-9 Flash to help educate the public and spread awareness about our mission and cause. Axel was one of our nation’s most trusted and relied upon K-9’s, but even he needed a home and assistance when he retired because he has some health complications due to his service.
Currently, Axel is on several prescription medications that cost over $500 a month. Axel has diagnosed cases of Pannus, Megaesophagus, and sever Dermatitis.
Through your generous donations and support we will ensure that Axel lives the long and happy life that he so well deserves after selflessly putting his life on the line in over 200 missions. Axel spent his career protecting us and now it is our turn to protect him in his retirement.