In February, Owego Police Department member K-9 Maggie (K-9 Mag), and her partner, Officer Andrew Pike, were involved in a minor motor vehicle accident.
Maggie and Pike did not suffer any injuries; however, the insurance company deemed the K-9 patrol car, a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, a total loss.
Officer Pike commented, “The accident was at a low speed impact and Maggie was secure inside her kennel.”
Officer Pike explained that the car had been a good running vehicle and made it through a remarkably rough winter, although it was showing its age.
The police partners are currently cruising in a donated vehicle, and K-9 Mag is equipped in a safe, but temporary kennel provided by the K9 Kop Project.
With a budget already stretched, options for a new K-9 patrol car pose a challenge. Weather conditions in Owego, such as snow-covered roads and a constant flood threat dictate a specific need, so a higher clearance vehicle with all-wheel-drive or four-wheel drive is desired.
The Owego Police Benevolent Association has started a GoFundMe to help raise funds towards a new vehicle for the K-9 Maggie and Officer Pike duo. This includes a patrol vehicle and other specialized equipment necessary for training and deployment. Added in the mix are veterinary bills and other medical expenses.
K-9 Mag has been in the spotlight for several months. Her journey began in 2018 when she was brought into the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter as a stray. She was adopted, and then returned, twice.
A door opened when Maggie passed required tests for a program called Homeless to Hero, and where the Binghamton, N.Y. nonprofit, the Southern Tier Police Canine Association (STPCA) evaluated Mag and determined she could be trained as a police canine. In turn, STPCA taught her the extensive skills needed for her career.
It was the STPCA who donated K-9 Maggie to OPD, and so that she could safely serve the Village. The donation, at the time, included equipment to outfit her patrol vehicle.
K-9 Mag has become a local celebrity, and Officer Pike says he has the best of both worlds.
“She is an absolute joy, and then goes home with me at the end of the day.” –Owego Police Officer Andrew Pike
Officer Pike added that K-9 Mag “is doing great,” and has completed additional training. Maggie was previously certified in tracking and narcotics detection.
Today, the Owego Police Benevolent Association is reaching out to donors, both large and small, to help fund the goal of a new patrol vehicle for K-9 Mag.
The donated vehicle gets them by for now, although concerns are that Maggie needs more space with better access to water, as well as a safer set-up in case of an accident.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-k9-maggie-get-a-new-vehicle?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bupdate&fbclid=IwAR13Lsch6iGvGDC_P5DSeUrBsuPxjb4Vzs07zo0idvndWk8v9HeMOetH4FM.
You can also donate outside of GoFundMe by making out a check to the Owego PBA. Include a note on the check, For K-9 Maggie. Checks can be mailed to the Owego Police Benevolent Association, 90 Temple St., Owego, N.Y. 13827, Attention: K-9 Maggie Fundraiser.
You can also follow K-9 Mag on Facebook and Instagram.