BATAVIA, Ohio — A Tri-State memorial built to honor police K9s in Clermont County is on the move.
The Ohio Police K9 Memorial was dedicated about 3 years ago in Amelia. The permanent monuments stood as a place to remember fallen K9s and those dogs who work in our communities every day.
The names of every police K9 to serve in Ohio is etched on the granite walls surrounding the K9 statue.
But Mt. Orab K9 Officer Craig Heintzelman explains that when the Village of Amelia was dissolved in 2019, the property was split between Pierce Township and Batavia. The property was sold, leaving the memorial without a home.
Officer Heintzelman says they found a new home at the Batavia Sports Complex off Clough Pike. But the move has proven to be extremely difficult and expensive.
A crane was brought in to move the K9 and boulder portion of the memorial and all new concrete had to be poured. The central memorial wall cracked when it was moved, and it has to be replaced.
The total project will cost about $30,000. The non-profit had to halt the project because they only have $108 left in the account.
Officer Heintzelman says they are also conservative with spending because the memorial is more than just a common meeting place to honor police K9s. It also helps local departments.
"We've helped replace two dogs,” Heintzelman says. “One was killed in the line of duty. The other one, the handler was killed in the line of duty and his dog was given to a new handler.”
He says they helped purchase cages and support multiple departments when their K9 officers are in need.
“That's what a lot of people don't know about the memorial. It's done other things since its inception and we'd really like to keep those programs going, but unfortunately at this time we're not able to do those programs until we're finished with the move,” Heintzelman says.
Officer Heintzelman says previous donors have been generous and he knows now is a hard time to be asking people for money. So everyone is being patient, hoping that donations start rolling their way so they can complete what will be another beautiful project.
To learn more about the Ohio Police K9 Memorial and to donate, click here.