John Forlenza, Deputy, Lake County Sheriff's Office, and K-9 Dax, 2019 law enforcement/arson dog of the year,
John Forlenza, Deputy, Lake County Sheriff's Office, and K-9 Dax, 2019 law enforcement/arson dog of the year,

Dax, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office K-9, was named as the country’s 2019 Law Enforcement/Arson Dog of the Year by American Humane, a 132-year-old nonprofit dedicated to the well-being of animals.

Dax has been with the sheriff’s office for four years and has been directly responsible for tracking and successfully apprehending more than 70 suspects, according to a biography on the American Humane website.

In addition, Dax has aided in more than 100 narcotics searches, which have resulted in the seizure of more than
17 kilos of cocaine, heroin and other narcotics, hundreds of pounds of marijuana, about $750,000 and dozens of firearms.

Some of Dax’s deployments in 2018 included the tracking of a domestic violence offender who forced his way into a home and battered and choked a woman into unconsciousness.

Dax also helped to capture a robbery suspect who allegedly had struck the K-9 and apprehended a wanted and allegedly armed fugitive hiding in an attic.

His heroic actions also have helped to save lives when Dax helped to track a fugitive who allegedly committed a burglary, tried to steal a vehicle and then brandished a firearm at pursuing deputies, according to the American Humane website.

He will be featured in the 2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, which will air 7 p.m. Monday n the Hallmark Channel.

The awards were created to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs, according to the American Humane website.

Dax was one of seven finalists to be named as the 2019 Hero Dog but lost the top honor to Alice, a 5-year-old German shepherd from Kentucky who acts as a service dog to a young boy who was shot in the head four years ago.

The other finalist categories included Hero Service Dog, Therapy Hero Dog, Search and Rescue Hero Dog, Military Hero Dog, Guide/Hearing Hero Dog and Shelter Hero Dog.

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