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Vernon community raising money for new police K-9

A group of residents organized the fundraising effort. They hope to raise $30,000 by the end of the year to purchase and train a new dog.

VERNON, Conn. — Editor's Note: The video above is about a K9 training project not related to the Vernon Police Department.

A local community is rallying behind its police department who lost its beloved K-9 after seven years.

Vernon police announced K-9 Thor's "sad and unexpected" passing last month. He had an autoimmune disorder and pneumonia, officials said.

RELATED: Vernon Police mourning the loss of K-9 Thor

The group of residents stepping forward say they hope to raise money to purchase a new dog.

"The goal is to raise $30,000 to buy a specially-bred canine, purchase any necessary equipment for the dog and pay for the weeks-long training for the dog and his or her police officer handler," the group said in a release.

They hope to raise the funds by the end of the year. 

“Vernon residents are consistently generous and always supportive of our police department," one of the organizers, Lisa Moody said. "I am confident our friends and neighbors will help us exceed our goal."

After the news of Thor's passing, residents and business leaders have offered contributions.

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A $15,000 challenge grant has already been established by donors, meaning that they will donate a combined $15,000 if the community contributes $15,000.

“I am especially grateful to the generous individuals and business leaders who established our challenge grant,” Moody added. “Their civic spirit is inspiring.”

People who are interested in participating in the fundraising effort can find over a dozen donation canisters at restaurants and other establishments around town.

Checks can be made payable to the Town of Vernon, with “police dog” written on the memo line.

Mail to:

Town of Vernon, Finance Department, 2nd Floor
14 Park Place, Vernon, CT 06066

Moody noted that the funds will be held in an existing Town Council-approved account dedicated to the acquisition of a new police K-9, related equipment and training.

RELATED: 'We feel like people again' | A program at prisons trains service dogs for police departments, veterans

Alana Seldon is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at aseldon@fox61.com.

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