/PRNewswire/ — The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is honored to recognize K9 Kozmo of the Mesquite Police Department in Mesquite, TX with a posthumous 2021 AKC Paw of CourageSM award after he made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty this past April. The AKC Paw of Courage shows appreciation for the work that dogs do in the service of humankind. These awards recognize dogs who serve their communities honorably, making great impacts in the lives of their human counterparts.

“The American Kennel Club is deeply saddened by the news of K9 Kozmo’s passing,” said AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo. “He was an exemplary K9 police dog for the Mesquite Police Department, making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We are proud to honor him with an AKC Paw of Courage award to recognize his hard work and valor in the service of his community. May K9 Kozmo rest in eternal peace.”

K9 Kozmo was a five-year-old Dutch Shepherd mix who served the Mesquite Police Department honorably for more than four years with his partner, Officer Crawford. In late April 2021, the Mesquite Police Department was assisting a neighboring agency in a vehicle pursuit involving multiple armed robbery suspects. Two of the suspects were immediately apprehended and another two fled into a nearby wooded area. K9 Kozmo and his partner Officer Crawford were called in to track the suspects. During the subsequent search, K9 Kozmo was killed by one of the suspects. 

“K9 Kozmo died while valiantly serving our community,” said Mesquite Police Sergeant, B. Meyer. “While we mourn the loss of our family member, we appreciate his sacrifice and know that his service has made Mesquite a safer place to live and work.”

When K9 Kozmo was not patrolling the streets, he was busy doing public demonstrations, educating and interacting with members of the Mesquite community. He was a loyal partner to his handler and a dedicated servant to the community. 

Any dog is eligible to receive an AKC Paw of Courage; the award is not specific to purebred dogs. Paw of Courage awards can be presented to Police K-9s, Military Working Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs and other canines that work to make the lives of the people around them safer, easier or just simply happier. To nominate a dog for a Paw of Courage award, click here.

About 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 22,000 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 and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.

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.

K-9 Kozmo of the Mesquite Police Department