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Monday, December 11 2017 @ 07:41 PM AKST

Sixth - graders invited to name two law enforcement K9s

Education and Local School NewsAlaska’s sixth-grade classes are invited to submit names for two new law enforcement K9s, whose tasks will include searching for illegal drugs.

Use of heroin and other opioids is a growing problem across the United States. Governor Bill Walker, who recently declared a public health crisis in Alaska, signed Administrative Order 283 to outline the state’s next steps to address the drug epidemic.

The dog-naming contest is an initiative of Safer Alaska Building Strong Communities, to engage students in illicit-drug prevention.

Each sixth-grade class can submit one name for each dog. Be sure to match each name to a specific dog. K9A is a very friendly Belgian Malinois, one and a half years old, who prances like a horse when he walks. He is long and lanky. K9B, also a Belgian Malinois of the same age, pounces on his toy when he retrieves it. His fur is black from his paws to his knees, so he looks like he’s wearing socks.

Some helpful hints: Avoid cute names like Fluffy; these K9s are professional law enforcement members. Avoid scary names or the names of drugs. The names should be easy to say, preferably of one or two syllables. Names with a connection to Alaska might be strong contenders.

Winning classes will receive acknowledgement from the Governor or Lt. Governor, a visit from the dog and his handler, and a plaque with a picture of the dog.

Submit names to Sharon Fishel at the Department of Education and Early Development at Sharon.fishel@alaska.gov The deadline is May 10. If you have questions, contact Ms. Fishel at 907-465-6523 or Sharon.fishel@alaska.gov

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