Kids have chance to hang with K-9 search dogs at Westfield Washington Public Library

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By Anna Skinner

Westfield kids will have a shot to hang out with Indiana K-9 Search and Rescue dogs through a program organized by Westfield Washington Township.

Leah Snyder pauses with Axl, a Great Pyrenees search and rescue dog. (Submitted photo)

Leah Snyder, director of Indiana K-9 Search and Rescue, said kids often have a special fascination with search dogs.

“We just take (the dogs) in and let the kids hang out with them,” Snyder said. “All kids think that search dogs are special, and they just love it. What we want them to see and hopefully take away from this whole thing is some safety. We talk a little bit about stranger danger and missing children. We just say the dogs can find missing people and leave it at that. They can see what a trained dog can do. So hopefully, when they grow up, they have some idea that dogs need training and can do all kinds of things.”

Anywhere from four to eight dogs will attend the event, and Snyder said there is no particular breed that makes the best search dog. Indiana K-9 SAR dog breeds range from dobermans to Great Pyrenees.

“We feel it’s so beneficial to the community to get out and see how these dogs perform and what a value they add to our different police departments,” said Stacy London, township recreation program coordinator. “It’s a great experience, and we’d love to get as many people out there to the library.”

The event will be 11 a.m. Feb. 11 at the Westfield Washington Public Library, 333 W Hoover St. There is no cost to attend. To register, call 317-574-9490.

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