K-9 Officer Kota has been named the 2014 Law Enforcement dog winner for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Kota is now one of eight finalists vying for the title of top American Hero Dog of 2014. “I felt very touched by the loyalty of all his fans,” says Corporal Brittney Neer. “They’ve fallen in love with him and made sure to vote for him daily so he could be recognized as a hero for his sacrifice and loyalty.”
The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards is an annual competition. Eight finalists are chosen by the public and a celebrity judging panel from eight categories: Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide & Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dog. The eight finalists win $1,500 for a selected charity partner. The public has the chance to vote for the top dog until September 15th at www.herodogawards.org. Kota and his partner will attend the Hero Dog Awards on September 27th in Beverly Hills, CA and a production team will be coming to Winchester to film a tribute video that will be shown at the gala.
On Friday, January 3, 2014, Kota was injured when he was assisting officers with a breaking and entering on Franklin Street. Two suspects were hiding in a crawl space and as Kota was apprehending one of them, he fell through the ceiling nearly 8 feet, to the first floor of the house. The fall caused Kota to break his leg. Even after his injury, Kota showed his dedication to his handler Corporal Brittney Neer, by returning to her side on the second floor of the house. Kota underwent an extensive surgery to treat his broken leg and he continues to go through rehab. Veterinarians are optimistic that Kota will return to duty in the coming months to do narcotics work.