The Newark Police Department has added a new police dog to its K-9 unit, thanks to the nonprofit Friends of Newark Police K-9 Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation.
Friends of Newark Police K-9 raised $10,000 to purchase Varg, a Dutch shepherd, from Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind. Varg is the fourth police dog purchased by the fund.
Varg and his handler, Cpl. Adam Stevens, began training on Sept. 18 at the Delaware State Police Academy in Dover. After approximately three months of training, Varg and Cpl. Stevens will be certified to search for both people and narcotics.
The Newark Police Department’s K-9 program is funded entirely by donations from the community, including money raised by the Friends of Newark of Police K-9 Fund, said spokesman Lt. Fred Nelson.
Founded in 2006 by Newark businessman, the Friends of Newark Police K-9 Fund has raised more than $150,000 to purchase dogs and fund training, certification, food, medical expenses, food and equipment. Funds are raised mainly through two annual events, the Main Street Mile – which drew nearly 1,000 runners this year – and the Battle of the Bars.
Businessman Nic DeCaire founded the Friends of Newark Police K-9 Fund almost 12 years ago, after opening Fusion Fitness on Main Street. DeCaire learned that the City of Newark did not have a continuous budget to support the police K-9 unit, so he adopted the cause as Fusion’s house charity.
After years of handling it himself, DeCaire partnered with the DCF in 2016. Now DeCaire is able to focus entirely on fundraising while the DCF manages investment and administration of the dollars raised.
“As a small business owner, administering the fund and doing taxes is too much to deal with,” DeCaire said. “It’s a worthwhile partnership because it saves us time.”