Green Township gets K9 after 'Dino' dies on duty
GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) - K9 handlers and their dogs have unique relationships. Every day the K9 may be put into a dangerous situation and may have to put its life on the line for the handler.
Green Township residents know this better than most after “Dino”, the police dog, died in the line of duty last year. Now, the township has a new K9.
The same handler introduced him to Local 12.
Citizens and police departments from the Tri-State attended a special ceremony for Dino that included a 21-gun salute and a folding of the American flag.
Dino and handler Corporal Tony Leidenbor were tracking suspects in a Forest Park kidnapping case when Dino collapsed and died.
Green Township's new K9, “Raider”, is a Belgian Malinwah.
“He's from Czechoslovakia,” said Leidenbor.
Leidenbor and Raider are fresh from 14 weeks of intense K9 training at the Cincinnati Police Academy.
Raider's a dual purpose K9, trained in narcotics and patrol.
"He has a very big brain, thinks he's much bigger than he is which is awesome, definitely a powerhouse, something I wasn't expecting out of a little dog,” said Leidenbor. “I call him my little rocket pocket.”
Raider is a high-energy puppy, different from Dino, who was a six-year veteran of the department. Dino was intense, focused, and he's still very much on Leidenbor's mind.
"I was with Dino more than I was with my family when you lose that you lose a lot,” said Leidenbor.
Letters and sympathy cards from all over the country helped him. Hundreds of them were from local school children.
“We had no idea what kind of support was out there. We are grateful. It not only helped Tony, but all our officers with the loss,” said Green Township Police Chief James Vetter.
The community can meet Raider at Monday night's trustee meeting that starts at 5:30 p.m.