CARMEL – Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that Putnam County has received a generous donation from a Patterson family in support of the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.
Mr. Joseph Stilwell and Mrs. Monika Stilwell of Patterson have donated two pure-bred German shepherds to the County. The Stilwells also paid to have the dogs–a male named “Lex” and a male named “Kato”–flown from Holland to the U.S., along with an obedience trainer.
The Stilwells’ donation also included monies used for the training of the dogs and their handlers in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol. Lex is assigned to Deputy Sheriff Vincent Dalo and Kato’s partner is Deputy Sheriff Christopher Irwin. Deputy Dalo and Lex attended the New York State Police K-9 Academy in Cooperstown and Deputy Irwin and Kato attended the Orange County K-9 Academy, with the cost of their training covered by the donation.
In addition, the donation included funds for replacement of two unserviceable police vehicles with two new K-9 equipped vehicles and for the purchase of bullet-proof vests for the dogs. The two new police vehicles used to transport the new dogs on patrol are 2017 Ford
Explorers, each fully equipped with a kennel cage, special dog mats, a temperature-sensing system that activates an alarm and automatically lowers the vehicle windows if the temperature exceeds a safe level, and a remote-controlled door opener that allows the deputy to release the dog from the vehicle from a distance.
In total, the money donation and the value of the trained purebred dogs is estimated to be about $120,000.00. “On behalf of the taxpayers of Putnam County and the citizens who will be served and protected by the K-9 Unit, I express my sincerest gratitude to the Stilwell family for their most generous gift,” said Sheriff Smith. The Sheriff said that he was unaware of any other previous donation to the County of this kind, and noted that “it is a donation that will really help make the whole community safer.”
The Sheriff and members of the K-9 Unit welcomed the Stilwell family during their visit the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, Oct. 28. Ms. Stilwell told the Sheriff that she emigrated years ago from her native Poland to the United States and that she never takes the freedoms and the safety of this country for granted. She went on to say that her family was making the donation for the K-9 Unit because they wanted to give something back in gratitude for and in support of community safety.