CRESTVIEW — Santa Claus brought Sonic, one of the Crestview Police Department’s K9 officers, a whole boxful of new toys.
Sonic’s partner, Ofc. Jay Seals, had contacted Kong Company of Golden, Colorado, to inquire about durable toys after the German shepherd chewed apart a supposedly "indestructible" toy made by another pet toy manufacturer.
On the second day of Christmas, a box bearing about $50 worth of Kong Company dog chew toys, and straps to carry them on Ofc. Seal’s utility belt, arrived at the police department.
"We weren’t expecting this," Seals said as he opened the box Wednesday morning.
The chew toys are American-made of Kong Company’s durable rubber formulation and, when used for play, have an erratic bounce when thrown. They’re designed to stimulate a dog’s instinct to chase moving objects, animals or people.
In addition, the toys satisfy a dog’s instinct to chew, Kong Company states on its website.
After examining the toys, Seals placed the box on the police department training-room floor and invited Sonic to examine the contents. One by one, the K9 extracted the toys and straps and laid them on the floor as if for inspection. When his partner took the retail card off the largest toy, Sonic settled down for a satisfying chew.
In addition to being lots of fun, the toys are an important training tool for Crestview Police’s K9s, Seals said. Because the dogs have carefully formulated diets, their "paychecks" for apprehending fleeing felons, finding missing people or detecting illegal narcotics are not snacks but playtime with favorite toys.
"He’s a good boy," Seals said of his partner, who held the largest of his new toys between his powerful forepaws. "I guess Santa knew that."
As for the donors, Kong Company marketing coordinator Kathleen Ives said the company loves helping organizations that keep the country’s communities safe.
"We like to support all military and law enforcement as much as we can and we were happy to support the Crestview Police Department and Sonic," Ives said.