Giving Tuesday 2021 - K9 Unit Wish List

This Giving Tuesday, Capital K9s needs your help to fund items to keep the K9s of the City of Madison (Wisconsin) Police Department K9 Unit functioning at their best!

  1. A Hot-N-Pop® PRO remote door popper and associated AceWatchDog™ wireless alert monitoring kit ($2,298)
  2. Veterinarian-recommended nutritional supplements (cost varies per K9)

Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $2,500, through a donation of any size.  No gift is too big or too small!

Capital K9s funds the training and equipment of the MPD K9 Unit. Additionally, Capital K9s coordinates with other businesses and sponsors in the area for donations of food, veterinary services, and in-kind donations that support Capital K9s fundraising efforts. 

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s! Your donation – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect your community every day.

Giving Tuesday - Three Squads Need K9 Safety Systems

This Giving Tuesday, Capital K9s needs your help to fund the purchase of Hot-N-Pop® PRO remote door poppers and AceWatchDog™ ($2,198 each) for three new squad vehicles, to keep our K9s and their handlers as safe as possible!  Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $6,594, through a donation of any size.  All gifts are greatly appreciated!!

Remote-controlled door poppers like the Hot-N-Pop® PRO allow K9 handlers to deploy K9s quickly in emergency situations – to apprehend suspects or come to the aid of a K9 handler who may need a K9’s help dealing with an aggressive suspect.  This video shows a Milwaukee PD K9 handler opening her squad door remotely:

The AceWatchDog™ system protects K9s from becoming overheated on hot sunny days when left in their squad vehicles while their handlers attend to work that doesn’t require K9s.  The system  monitors temperature sensors and vehicle battery voltage.  If an concerning condition is detected, the system activates the horn, siren, & flashing lights, as well as a dual window drop.  The system also features a “no K9 left behind” features to remind handlers to remove their K9s from their squads when a squad’s ignition is turned off.  The system can be configured to allow monitoring from K9 handlers’ smartphones – and requires an ongoing subscription fee of $168 per system per year. This video shows an officer conducting a monthly test of the system:

Read more about these products at

The City of Madison Police Department’s K9 Unit is currently comprised of eight working dogs.  Capital K9s funds their training and equipment, and coordinates with other businesses and sponsors in the area for donations of food and veterinary services. 

Join us in protecting the human and K9 members of the MPD K9 Unit, who serve and protect you and our community. Contribute to the Capital K9s via the link below.

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s! Your donation – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.

Cancellation of Summer 2020 Events

Dear Friends of Capital K9s,

With heavy hearts, we have decided to cancel our "Sunday Funday" and Dog Paddle fundraising events this summer. We know how much you look forward to participating in these events -- please know we were excited about hosting them and supporting the MPD K9 Unit with you! These cancellations are being made with the best interests of our community in mind.

Over the past several months, we remained hopeful we might adapt and restructure our events to keep participants safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as new data became available about COVID-19 activity growing in Dane County, we realized we cannot ensure risk-free interactions. We hope you understand that putting a hold on in-person events is the most responsible course we can take this year. We know it won't be the same, but we hope to organize some virtual fundraising and outreach events in the near future.

We may not be gathering together in person this year, but our MPD K9 Unit will continue serving and protecting you throughout the greater Madison area! Thank you for your understanding and your continuing support of our two- and four-legged officers.

Capital K9s Board of Directors

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s!

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.


Police Week 2020

Since its founding in 2004, Capital K9s has provided 19 working K9s for the K9 Unit of the City of Madison Police Department.  NINETEEN!!  We honored our four "founding K9s" last year during Police Week -- K9s Johnny, Greg, Ivan, and Gildon. Since last year, another one of our former K9s passed away (K9 Josh), and two more retired (K9s Krahnie and Slim). We now have six K9 retirees living their best lives after service to our community and six K9s actively serving and protecting the greater Madison region with their patrol officer handlers.

When the time is right, we will share stories about Josh, Krahnie and Slim... And we look forward to seeing you all at events when we can safely gather together again.

For now, amid all the changes happening in our community -- remember that our human and K9 police officers are a constant we can depend on.

We are all in different places during this time: we shelter at home, work essential jobs, face changes to our daily routines, take on home-schooling obligations, hope to keep small businesses afloat, worry about a virus impacting our or family members' health, or enjoy a slower pace from our usual grind. No matter where we are -- our human and K9 police officers have our backs. They and other first responders continue answering calls, investigating crimes, serving warrants, and helping however they can. They do this even though a novel and poorly-understood virus threatens their health. Law enforcement needs do not stop during a pandemic.

Similarly, the need for financial support for the MPD K9 Unit continues now and will always exist.  If it's within your means -- consider a donation (of any size!) to Capital K9s. The MPD K9 Unit cannot exist without your generosity and support.

How else can you help, besides donating now? Sponsor and attend our events (when we can safely hold them again!).  Buy our merchandise.  Volunteer.  Incorporate Capital K9s into your estate plan (and name a working dog to continue your legacy!).  Hold a virtual fundraiser in your own creative way. The artist who led two Paint Night fundraisers for Capital K9s in 2019, Lindsey Salzwedel of Expressively You, is holding a virtual paint night to support Capital K9s and other local non-profits on May 26th (thank you, Lindsey!).

Please support our K9s and their handlers however you can. We appreciate your interest in our organization and all of your contributions to the MPD K9 Unit.    

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s!

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.

K9 Patton Meets his Namesake

K9 Patton

Date of Birth:  2/5/2017
Start Date with MPD:  11/15/2018
Breed:  German Shepherd
Financial Sponsor: Mid-West Family Broadcasting
Veterinary Sponsor: Animal Hospital of Verona

Back in May, K9 Patton met his namesake:  former 94.1 WJJO radio personality Blake Patton!  

When Mid-West Family Broadcasting graciously agreed to sponsor the working dog currently partnered with Officer Nick Eull, they chose “Patton” as his name – continuing their pattern of naming dogs after their locally-renown DJs.  You might recall Mid-West previously selected the names “Johnny & Greg” for the first two MPD K9s they sponsored, naming them after Johnny Danger and Greg Bair.

During the introduction of Blake Patton to K9 Patton, Blake admitted struggling to find the words to convey how he felt, and even commented how ironic that seemed after spending his career talking on the radio. 

“I am honored, humbled, and just absolutely … flummoxed.  It is an amazing feeling to know Mid-West chose my name for a K9 who will become such an important part of our community.” 

He went on to share later that he is equally impressed by the obvious respect and love for K9 Patton shown by Officer Eull, which is important to him after a life of believing in the importance of loving and respecting “all the beasts, birds, and critters.” 

K9 Patton has quickly become a successful member of the MPD K9 Unit, and we look forward to showcasing more stories about him over time. 

Our unending thanks to Mid-West Family Broadcasting for their continued support of Capital K9s and making K9 Patton’s service possible – and to Blake for sharing his name. 

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s!  Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect the greater Madison community every day.

L-R: MPD Chief Mike Koval, Former WJJO Radio Personality Blake Patton, K9 Patton,
Patrol Officer Nick Eull, and K9 Unit Sergeant Mike Alvarez.

Support our Heroes!

Thank you for following our tribute posts this week – we hope you enjoyed learning more about K9s Greg, Johnny, Gildon, and Ivan.

Since its founding in 2004, Capital K9s has provided 17 working K9s to the City of Madison Police Department K9 Unit.  SEVENTEEN!  In addition to the four honored this week, five currently enjoy retirement (Josh, Martie, Boris, Frees, and Jagger), and eight actively protect and serve the greater Madison community on a daily basis (Slim, Falko, Krahnie, Carl, Allied, Bowie, Patton, and Archie). 

Supporting the financial needs of an 8-dog K9 Unit is not an easy task…  Capital K9s greatly appreciates monetary donations, in-kind donations, and volunteer hours provided by individuals and businesses.  We cannot support the MPD K9s without your contributions.

How can you continue helping us?  Donate.  Sponsor a K9. Attend our events – as a vendor or participant.  Buy our merchandise and raffle tickets.  Volunteer.  Incorporate Capital K9s into your estate plan (and name a working dog to continue your legacy!).  Hold your own fundraiser in your own creative way.  Serve on our Board of Directors. Support our K9 heroes and their handlers wherever and however you can.

Thank you for your interest in our organization and for supporting the MPD K9 Unit.    

Click hereto make a gift to Capital K9s!

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.

K9 Tributes – Police Week 2019 – Greg

Dates of Service: 2/15/2005 – 4/20/2010
End of Watch: 12/16/2016
Breed: Dutch Shepherd

Partner:  Ofc. Bart O’Shea

K9 Greg was the first working dog acquired by Capital K9s for the City of Madison Police Department.  Greg, who worked with Patrol Officer Bart O'Shea, is one of four dogs generously sponsored over the years by Mid-West Family Broadcasting.  Mid-West named Greg and the second K9, “Johnny” (who was featured in yesterday’s post), after disc jockeys Johnny Danger and Greg Bair, of the infamous “Johnny & Greg” morning show on their WJJO (94.1 FM) Solid Rock radio station.

After retiring in 2010, Greg became O’Shea’s wife’s running partner – because she liked to run early in the morning, while still dark, and appreciated the security of having a highly trained landshark at her side.  Greg also enjoyed lounging around the home with the family's other dog. "He had a great personality, was always ready to work, and [was] equally willing to let 5-year- olds crawl all over him...  It was a delight to be his handler."

Thank you to O’Shea for providing the following stories about Bart, who he often referred to as being on “The Smarter End of the Leash.” 

Passed out -- or Not?

On a dark and not stormy night, our victim in this sad tale
made some poor decisions...  He was a car
salesman from Illinois delivering a Honda Odyssey minivan to a dealership in
Madison.  He was staying overnight and
made his first mistake by deciding to take in some entertainment at a local
strip club.  He made his second mistake
by making friends with a villain (our suspect) at that strip club.  He made his third mistake by going with our suspect
to buy a little crack cocaine to enhance his evening. He made his final mistake
by agreeing to give the suspect a ride home.

Greg comes into the story after the ride home turned out
poorly.  The suspect pistol-whipped the
victim  while he drove 60 miles per hour,
drunk and high on crack. Eventually, the rolling carjacking ended at the
intersection of Stoughton Road and the beltline, with our woeful victim left bleeding
on the side of the road as the suspect drove away in the stolen minivan.

Shortly after stealing the van, the suspect was observed by
a Monona Police Officer and dumped the van, opting to flee on foot. The Monona
officer did not pursue based on information the suspect was armed and dangerous.

Greg and I arrive on location where the suspect was last
seen. Greg began to track the suspect and was tracking along a short hedge row
in front of an office building. He then turned sharply left and was engaged in
the shrubs on something I could not see. I called Greg back to me. On looking
under the bushes, I could see feet at one end and a hat at the other end. I
then called out that we were the Madison Police and had a police K9.

The suspect then called back, “I’m passed out.” Realizing that this might not be true, I gave another warning that there was a police K9 and he would be released. When the suspect did not respond, I unhooked Greg from his tracking leash and sent him. Greg engaged the suspect and ended up dragging the male a distance of about 6 feet, by his shoulder, out into the parking lot – where he was taken into custody. The suspect’s gun was recovered along the path of his flight.

The Jump

Very early in Greg’s career, we were dispatched to check a
tennis court area at Reynold’s Field Park to locate evidence relating to a
sexual assault that occurred on the court.  This tennis court area is above a City of Madison
water utility building and protected by a stone half-wall which stood about 15
feet off the ground.

Because it was early in the morning and the tennis court was
empty,  I took Greg off of his leash to
search  the area.  After we finished searching, I stood on the
stairs and looked over the stone wall – down at the area below.  I then heard one of the other officers with us
begin to yell, and to my horror, watched Greg sail over my shoulder.  I had not given any command to prompt the
jump, but by looking over to the ground below I made Greg think he needed to
search the area in the direction where I glanced, so in that direction he went.
 He fell 15 feet, landing on his back, between
two steel electrical boxes.

I ran down the stairs, expecting to find a severely injured dog. Miraculously, Greg was in a ‘sit’ position, but skewed sideways as though drunk. He simply stood up, shook himself, and ran off. He then started to sniff around the area, continuing to search for evidence as though nothing had happened, while I checked to see if I still had a pulse.

Spinning in a Circle

Greg and I were assigned to help the Dane County Narcotics
Unit execute a search warrant.  The
tenants at the apartment to be search were arrested earlier that day delivering
a kilo of cocaine.

Greg searched a couple of rooms and located some cocaine in
a drawer. We then entered a bedroom. Greg intently searched the tops of
everything in the room.  He sniffed the
top of the bed, he sniffed the top of the dresser, he sniffed carpet in the
room…  He then glanced up and sniffed in
the center of the room.  He then began
circling in the middle of the room, sniffing with his nose in the air. Above
him was an attic access door. Greg ended up standing on his hind legs,
continuing to sniff as he walked in a small circle under the attic access door,
like a dog performing a trick.

Next, I set a chair on top of small table and got up into the attic space. We located 41 kilos of cocaine in the attic – the second largest seizure of cocaine in state history at the time.

The Helicopter and the Devil Dog

Greg had an extremely effective technique in his bite-work
practice.  He would launch at his target,
catching the person serving as our training decoy (in a protective “bite suit”)
around the upper part of their shoulder.  He would then relax and let his body weight
swing around the person while they attempted to run away.  Greg would then snap his head and the person
would leave their feet as they and Greg spun around like helicopter blades
through the air.  Greg could do this even
to large men well over 200 pounds. Smaller people didn’t really stand a chance
against him.

Greg also had an unusual characteristic while engaged in bite-work. The decoys who wore the bite suit or  a bite sleeve told me that, during his bites, Greg’s eyes would roll back in their sockets and the whites of his eyes would turn red, making him look like a “devil dog.”

Rest in peace, Greg. Thank you for your tireless service and dedication to keeping your community safe.

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s this Police Week 2019!

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.

K9 Tributes – Police Week 2019 – Johnny

Date of Birth: 5/5/2003
Dates of Service: 2/16/2005 – 2/7/2015
End of Watch: 7/1/2016
Breed: Belgian Malinois

Partner: Ofc. Jim Donnell

K9 Johnny was the second working dog
acquired by Capital K9s for the City of Madison Police Department.  Johnny is one of four dogs graciously sponsored
over the years by Mid-West Family Broadcasting. 
Johnny and the first K9, “Greg” (who will be featured in another post),
were named after disc jockeys Johnny Danger and Greg Bair, of Mid-West’s WJJO (94.1
FM) Solid Rock radio station. 

Johnny worked with MPD Patrol
Officer Jim Donnell.  One of Donnell’s
favorite memories of service occurred in their first weeks on the job, in
February of 2005.  Johnny’s tracking
skills allowed the duo quickly locate an elderly woman who wandered away from her
home dressed in clothing not suitable for a cold Wisconsin winter day.  Before Johnny arrived on the scene to assist,
the woman evaded human officers’ search efforts for over 90 minutes.  After sniffing the woman’s pillow-case,
Johnny tracked to the woman’s location just in time – after only three minutes
of tracking.  Had they not located her
when they did, she would have likely died of hypothermia.

In October of 2012, Johnny helped
Donnell earn a “K9 Handler of the Year” award from the Wisconsin Law
Enforcement Canine Handlers’ Association.

Toward the end of Johnny’s
nearly-ten-year career with the City of Madison, Donnell began training his
second K9, Krahnie.  Johnny served as Krahnie’s
on-the-job “mentor” for about a year before working his last shift.   From
there, Johnny retired to a peaceful life at home
with Donnell. 

Johnny is fondly remembered by
Donnell as a loyal companion and eternal guardian.

Special thanks to the Stoughton
Veterinary Service for providing Johnny’s primary veterinary care. 

Read more about Johnny in a
previously-posted tribute to Johnny written by Donnell. 

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s this Police Week 2019! 

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.

K9 Tributes – Police Week 2019 - Gildon

K9 Gildon

Date of Birth: 10/1/2004
Dates of Service: 7/1/2006 – 12/1/2013
End of Watch: 9/11/2015
Breed: German Shepherd

Partner: Sergeant Jeff Felt

K9 Gildon was the third working dog acquired by Capital K9s for the City of Madison Police Department - thanks to a generous donation from Veridian Homes. He received his veterinary care from the Animal Hospital of Verona.

(Written by Sgt. Felt)

I’ve sat down a few times to try and write my thoughts to honor my partner of nearly 10 years -- and have quickly become overwhelmed by the emotion and enormity of this task.  How can I possibly capture his impact and the greatness that I witnessed on a daily basis to those who may not know him or only met him in passing?  I don’t think I can, but I owe it to him to try.

The “him” I’m referring to is Gildon, my K9 partner and
shadow for nearly 10 years, eight of those years working the streets of Madison
and surrounding communities.  He abruptly
left us on September 11, 2015.  A day to
remember our fallen heroes and, I’m sure, part of his master plan. 

Gildon was an ideal pairing for me, my personality and temperament.  A circuitous path brought us together -- Gildon was not my first K9 partner.  He was, technically, Gildon the 2nd.  The 1st Gildon and I worked together for about 5 months.  He didn’t work out, was returned to the vendor and Gildon the 2nd and I were paired together.  An immediate bond was formed.  We returned from our training and began working the street in July, 2006. 

One of our first assignments was working the Rhythm and Booms fireworks event at Warner Park.  I was certainly nervous.  Taking a brand new police dog to an event where hundreds of fireworks will explode is a bit daunting.  Gildon handled it like a champ, just like he handled the nearly 2000 calls for service during his career.

Gildon was a tremendous partner.  He was selfless, fearless, and relentless.  He trusted me implicitly and, although he could be a stubborn son of a gun, not a shift went by that he didn’t make me smile and often laugh out loud.  Those eyes... Those big, brown eyes...  Gildon had the most expressive eyes, even until the end.  I often joked with my wife that he knew me better than anyone.  And, I knew him.  We spent nearly 24 hours a day together for almost a decade.  Although he couldn’t “speak,” the two of us shared a common language.

I won’t bore you with all of his exploits, but I think it’s important to highlight some of his accomplishments.  Gildon received two state awards for his work during his career and was nominated for several others.  He located 35 suspects on tracks and had countless other tracks to recover evidence.  His work led directly to hundreds of arrests while helping keep the officers safe he worked with daily. 

He loved to work.  He never called in sick and always came to work with a great attitude.  Even those few days I could tell he wasn’t quite himself, he always gave his best -- and that was more than enough.  He appeared in many community demonstrations over the years.  As intense as he was while clearing a burglarized business, he was an equally big, lovable clown when entertaining a classroom of children-he always knew his audience. 

If you’re interested in reading some of my fondest memories of his calls for service, please click here.

Police K9s are so unique.  They do so much for a police department and its community, in so many ways.  They find people, whether tracking suspects in violent home invasions or locating loved ones (young or old) who may be vulnerable and missing.  They help take drug dealers, exploiting the addicted, off the street.  They are guardians and ambassadors all rolled into one.

I often think of Gildon and the times we shared.  It was such a unique experience, so difficult to put into words.  I hope I’ve been able to properly honor his memory.  Thank you, old friend. 

Click here to make a gift to Capital K9s this Police Week 2019!

Your gift – of any size – supports the K9s of MPD who serve and protect you every day.