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February 3, 2010 > Axl retires from service

Axl retires from service

By Shavon Walker
Photos By courtesy of Robert Kensic

Union City police dog Axl officially retired from service when Union City Council met on January 19, 2010. Axl's handler, Corporal Robert Kensic, was presented with a proclamation by Mayor Mark Green. Axl received a chew toy. Later, a resolution was passed allowing Kensic to purchase Axl for $1.

Axl was born in the Czech Republic in 2002. He was brought to the United States by a canine vendor. Cpl. Kensic was partnered with Axl in April 2004 and attended a month-long class for canine handlers. They worked together on patrol from May 2004 until January 2010.

As a police canine, Axl did more than search for drugs or look stately in police cars.

"The canine teams work regular patrol so we'd pretty much go to all of the same calls to which patrol officers respond. As a dog handler you listen for specific types of calls where the canine may be needed," Kensic explained. "If we found an open door or window, Axl would search the building. The dog's nose and speed allow large areas to be searched quickly. Often, I'd have him ready in case we were contacting a person who may run from us."

Police dogs, just like any employee, occasionally need some rest and relaxation when off-duty.

"Axl and most police dogs are very friendly, well-adjusted, well-trained dogs," Kensic noted. "He has great instincts, too. When he plays with me, or other adults, he'll jump up and try to bite at our wrist watches and play a little rough but when he plays with kids he restrains himself and remains calm while kids climb on him or tug on his ears, etc."

According to Kensic, purchasing Axl was more than just acquiring another pet for the family. The dogs look out for their human counterparts. Officers tend to their dogs regularly, even on their [officers'] days off.

"The dog really becomes your partner... the bond a canine officer develops with his canine partner is beyond that," Kensic stated, having spent 24 hours a day with Axl.

"He's definitely still adjusting to retirement. He still has about as much energy as he had when I first got him, so he's not exactly suited to be a house dog. We've another young German Shepherd at home, so that gives him a playmate to run around with and burn some energy. I couldn't have imagined not buying him upon his retirement," concluded Kensic.

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