Search & Rescue K9 team from Manatee Co. enters national contest

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – They’re known for saving lives and helping those in need but this time around, Manatee County Search and Rescue needs your assistance. 

A majority of the calls K9 Karma and her handler Deputy Chief John Elwood get are to assist in finding missing or endangered people, particularly those with cognitive impairment or those who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

“She’s an extraordinary dog. In the K9 world we just say we are the stupid ones on the end of the leash and it’s really the dog that does all the work,” said Elwood.  

Now the duo tells 8 On Your Side the vehicle they use to serve the public is no longer reliable.  

“The vehicle that I currently have just had a significant engine repair that cost over $5,000. That all comes out of the own handler’s pocket,” said Elwood. 

Through the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, Elwood is hoping to win a brand-new K9 law enforcement SUV. But they need your help. 

“They have a contest in which they selected 30 finalists in which Karma and myself are the only finalist from the state of Florida. They are giving away (to) the person who receives the most votes a police package Chevy Tahoe that is equipped to support and transport K9s,” said Elwood. 

Manatee County Search and Rescue is a non-profit that relies on donations and fundraising. Most of their current vehicles have been donated from other law enforcement departments.  

“To help us help you, vote for us every day as much as possible. If we win, that would help to provide another vehicle on the road and another K9 team to respond quickly,” said Elwood.  

To vote for K9 Karma and Deputy Chief John Elwood, head to Vested Interest in K9s. There are no limits on the number of times you can vote.

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