2019 AKC Paw Of Courage Awarded to K9 Hero

Photos courtesy The American Kennel Club

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is proud to honor K9 Max, of the Lubbock Police with the 2019 AKC Paw of CourageSM award. This award shows appreciation for working canines that put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, specifically recognizing those who are serving or have served their departments honorably and have demonstrated heroism in the line of duty.


“K9 Max of the Lubbock Police Department is a prime example of the hard work, loyalty and dedication that working dogs exhibit in the service of humankind,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “He continually risks his life in the line of duty to protect the people of his community and his bravery deserves to be recognized. The 2019 AKC Paw of Courage award gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifice that K9 Max has made.”


K9 Max is a two-year-old Dutch Shepherd working with his handler, Corporal Brock Gruner, for the Lubbock Police Department in Texas. He is a multi-purpose police dog, trained in narcotics detection as well as criminal apprehension. K9 Max and Cpl. Gruner are certified with the National Narcotics Detection Dog Association in both narcotics and patrol work. K9 Max has been credited with several narcotics finds and suspect apprehensions since joining the department in February of 2019.


While responding to a vehicle theft this past August, K9 Max and Cpl. Gruner found themselves on a foot pursuit with a teen suspect who began firing at the pair with a stolen pistol. In an attempt to apprehend the suspect, K9 Max suffered two gunshot wounds; one in the front-left paw and one in the right-rear haunch. The dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian with non-life-threatening injuries.


K9 Max is expected to make a full recovery and pending an evaluation, return to duty with the Lubbock Police Department. When K9 Max is not on duty, he is a playful and friendly family pet that enjoys being with Cpl. Gruner and his family.


Any working dog is eligible to receive an AKC Paw of Courage; the award is not specific to purebred dogs. To nominate a dog for the next set of Paw of Courage awards, please email communications@akc.org. Recipients of the award, or their human partner, will receive a 2019 AKC Paw of Courage medal and a certificate of recognition. In addition, the recipients will receive a photo and profile on http://www.akc.org.




About the American Kennel Club

Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization, which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.


AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.


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