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NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world's largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is honored to recognize K9 Huk of Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Jacksonville, Florida and K9 Loki of Michigan Department of State Police, in Houghton Lake, Michigan with the American Kennel Club's DOGNY Paw of Courage Award.

The AKC DOGNY Paw of Courage demonstrates appreciation for the work that dogs do in the service of humankind. This award recognizes dogs who serve their communities, making great impacts on the lives of their human counterparts.

"The American Kennel Club is proud to present this award to these two incredibly deserving canines," says AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo. "We honor K9 Huk and K9 Loki for their dedication and commitment to keeping their communities safe every day."

K9 Huk, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville, FL

On July 22, 2022, Canine Officer Cheth Plaugher and his Police Service Dog Huk responded and actively engaged in a vehicle pursuit, where PSD Huk was deployed to engage the suspects and was struck several times by gunfire, critically injuring him.

Officer Plaugher provided first aid to PSD Huk while he was driven to Brentwood Animal Clinic.  He was then airlifted by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Aviation unit to First Coast Veterinary Specialists in Jacksonville Beach. Huk underwent numerous surgeries and medical treatments during his nine-month recovery. Unfortunately, on March 30th PSD Huk had his front limb amputated and was subsequently retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

PSD Huk is a great example of the dedication, loyalty, and selflessness that police service dogs exhibit in the line of duty.  He served his community honorably for nearly six years and displayed extreme courage and bravery during this incident.

K9 Loki, Michigan Department of State Police, Houghton Lake, MI

In June of 2023 A Michigan State Police K-9 found a 3-year-old lost in a remote wooded area of Roscommon County for at least a half hour. K-9 Loki and his partner from Michigan State Police were in the area when they received the call and started tracking the boy's scent through heavily wooded terrain and marshes.

Trooper Whited became a K9 handler in 2017, assigned to the Houghton Lake Post and took the responsibility of being Loki's handler who was then a one-year-old German Shepard. Trooper Whited and Loki who is now 7 years old continue to serve out of the Houghton Lake Post.

K9 Loki is very obedient and friendly with members of the community and a favorite amongst members assigned to the post.

To learn more and nominate a dog for a Paw of Courage award, click here.

About the American Kennel Club

Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 26,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests.

Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite, the AKC Museum of the Dog, and the AKC Purebred Preservation Bank.  For more information, visit

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @americankennelclub

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SOURCE The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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