Kane County soon will have a new explosives-sniffing police dog, thanks to a donation from a Yorkville family.
Sheriff Pat Perez accepted $10,000 from the Fergus family Thursday for the department's police dog program. The money will pay for training and equipment for Dok, an 18-month-old German shepherd, and Deputy Matt Goncher, Dok's handler.
The Ferguses -- Tom and Shirley and their children, Dalton and Leilani -- learned of the need from a neighbor, Jenny Lindgren, who works for the Campton Hills Police Department.
"We heard they were in need, and we wanted to show our appreciation for all they (the department) do for us," Shirley Fergus said.
The police dog program is self funded and uses no tax money. Fundraisers were held to collect the $15,000 needed to purchase Dok, who comes from Belgium.
Dok replaces Marshal, an 8-year-old police dog who retired last fall. Dok and Marshal will be roommates, however, at Goncher's home because he adopted Marshal.
"This donation is just huge for our program," Deputy Nick Wolf said.
Kane County has three other police dogs, two of which specialize in narcotics detection and one specializing in explosives detection. The dogs also are trained to protect their handlers, track people, search buildings and recover evidence. Two are trained to apprehend suspects.
The Ferguses were shown a picture of Dok, who arrived in the United States about 10 weeks ago. Goncher and Dok will spend a month together at a training facility in Michigan.