A Hackettstown, New Jersey, police officer and military veteran received a patriotic surprise dog house for his K9 companion on Friday.
Hackettstown police announced Friday that Patrolman Chris Laver, who served in the Iraq war and had a K9 partner named Jada on the police force, was the surprise recipient of the red, white, and blue painted dog house, Lehigh Valley Live reported.
Jada is a Belgian Malinois, a breed used by law enforcement and military personnel due to their “high drive, small size and astonishing work ethic,” according to Hackettstown police spokesman, Sgt. Darren Tynan.
“Jada is (from) the second litter bred here in the United States,” Tynan told Lehigh Valley Live in an email. “She was formally accepted in August 2016 as our first K9 officer. We went on to train for narcotics and patrol certifications for more than 10 months.”
Laver, Jada’s owner, served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division’s 57th Gun Truck Co, WRNJ reported.
“My passion for K9 started during my deployment as I worked with and observed military explosive detection dogs,” Laver said. “That’s when I learned about the Malinois breed. I had no formal K9 training until…I purchased Jada as a puppy. From that point on, I would work with K9 handlers and civilian K9 teams to learn and observe.”
“We then attended and graduated from the Union County Sheriff’s K9 Academy with the certification in narcotics and patrol, criminal apprehension, tracking, article searches, etc.,” Laver continued.
Lou DiBella, the creator of the dog house, said it took him about 45 hours to build, paint, and decorate the customized dog house in the colors of the American flag. DiBella asked his friends on Facebook on December 16 to spread the word about his creation and his intent to donate it to a worthy cause.
Lavers’s friend surprised him with the news that he would be receiving DiBella’s custom-made dog house for Jada.
We would like to thank Lou DiBella for building this dog house and donating it to K9 Jada.
Lou wanted to donate this dog house to a K-9 handler who was also a military veteran.
K9 Jada received her new home on Thursday and she is very excited. pic.twitter.com/vpp5Ptk8Os
— Hackettstown Police (@HackettstownPD) December 27, 2019
“We would like to thank Lou DiBella for building this dog house and donating it to K9 Jada. Lou wanted to donate this dog house to a K-9 handler who was also a military veteran. K9 Jada received her new home on Thursday and she is very excited,” the Hackettstown Police Department tweeted.