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Dogs Get Lathered for Good Cause

July 18, 2011

San Carlos Patch

Saturday was the first day of the South San Francisco K-9 Unit's weekend dog wash fundraiser.

Shadow cooperatively raised her paws as her owner, Bruce Dobbyn, lathered in the shampoo. Though many dog lovers have to contend with pooches who run and shake during bathtime, Shadow played things cool.

She is a Portugese Water Dog, after all.

Shadow was one of many dogs who got clean for a cause on the first day of the South San Francisco K-9 unit's weekend dog wash fundraiser. Pet owners were invited to bathe their pooches at Pet Food Express in San Carlos, with all proceeds going toward the South San Francisco Police Department’s annual K-9 Trial and Competition (held August 19 and 20 at South San Francisco High School.)

“The trial and competition is free and open to the public on August 20," said Officer Blake Molyneaux. "Thirty to 50 different California K-9 teams will be competing. We don’t compete…it would be biased because of our familiarity with the different scenarios.”

Officer Molyneux and his K-9, Mannix, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, are part of the second largest K-9 Unit in the area, beat out only by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office.

The South City K-9s are trained in searching, obedience, agility, and protection. At the trial and competition you’ll see the dogs in action, attacking “agitators” in protective suits, and racing to find hidden persons in dumpsters and cars. When it comes to the real world of South San Francisco, the K-9 Unit has done impressive work.

This past spring, Officer Joel Aguayo’s K-9, Fritz, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, caught a fleeing South City gang member by holding a firm bite in the man’s leg until police officers caught up to Fritz and arrested the suspect.

Officer Aguayo added, “Fritz is a really good narcotics dog and he has this tough guy persona…but when we’re at home, if the broom falls over he’ll jump and bark at it at, freaking out like he’s afraid of it.”

Just last month, Officer Marty Mahon’s K-9, Dugan, combated the ongoing problem of copper wiring theft in local abandoned warehouses. While the Officer and K-9 team were on a search, Dugan discovered the trespasser, who then tried to outrun the 6-year-old Belgian Malinois (bad idea), and ended up being pinned to the ground until Officer Mahon apprehended the suspect and let Dugan release his firm grip.

Dozens of Peninsula folks came through Pet Food Express yesterday in support of these hard-working South City K-9s. Belmont resident Greg and his two children, Jett and Keyanna, saw the colorful signs hailing people in to support the South San Francisco Police K-9 Unit and did their part by lathering up their 10-year-old black labrador, Tessie, and their 12-year-old pup, Lucy.

If you haven’t already, stop into Pet Food Express in San Carlos between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday to meet South San Francisco Officers and their K-9s, purchase a t-shirt, hat or challenge coin, and feel free to get a little messy washing your pooch in support of this wag-tastic cause. Self-serve dog washes at Pet Food Express cost $15, with all proceeds going to the K-9 Trial and Competition.

By Erica Jazayeri

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