Barking up the right tree: Lake County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Dax and partner are an award-winning duo

A sheriff’s deputy with a previous career as a police canine trainer. A special dog with a “work ethic.” The combination has added up to national recognition for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Dax, already a well-known K-9 in local criminal justice circles, received the K-9 of the Year award this month following a nationwide vote held by the Ohio-based K9s of Valor. The group is a nonprofit organization formed to help protect canine officers by raising money to donate protective equipment and for other initiatives.

Lake County and the Chicago region helped push Dax over the edge for the award, which was not his first commendation, but a coveted national honor.

Dax and Deputy John Forlenza were among more than 100 K-9 units nominated for the award. After being nominated, the K9s of Valor Foundation selected the duo to be in the top 10.

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