KINGMAN – Amigo has plenty of amigos.
Arizona Going Blue, a citizens’ group that supports law enforcement officers and first responders, is raising money to build a permanent memorial for Kingman Police Department K-9 Officer Amigo, who recently died of heat exhaustion while tracking two injured hikers. The group has been selling memorial T-shirts featuring an image of the dog.
Susie Prince, founder of AGB, said the response for the shirts has been tremendous.
“We haven’t had the supply to meet the demand,” Prince said. “Right now we’re working with two printers – one in Kingman, Flashover Graphics, and one in Prescott called Mad Shirtz.”
The $20 shirts were initially intended to be part of a citizen fundraising effort to help offset the expense of bringing another K-9 officer to the force. Amigo was purchased with a grant from the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area partnership. The price for Amigo and training from Canine Services in New Mexico was $12,800. KPD spokeswoman Jennifer Sochocki said the department only had an $8,000 insurance policy on Amigo with a $500 deductible.
She said the department won’t be using Canine Services for another dog. They would have to pay an additional $12,800 to bring in another canine.
“We have received several offers of donation and training from regional kennels,” Sochocki said. “We are exploring all options at this point.”
“So these funds will go toward a permanent memorial here at the police station where Amigo will actually be interred,” Prince said. “Part of the funds will also go toward emergency supplies for the Kingman PD canine handlers, such as cooling packs and IV kits.”
Sochocki said there are people interested in donating the cooling vests and first aid kits. KPD has been working with the interested parties. AGB has also looked into purchasing ballistic vests for dogs and have raised funds.
Money raised by AGB as well as additional donations coming into the department will be used toward the memorial. Any remaining funds will be used to enhance the department’s K-9 program with items such as food, leashes and collars. KPD also has a K-9 donation account setup with the City of Kingman to assist the K-9 program.
There’s no word yet on how much money AGB has raised. They have been keeping in touch with the Simonsen family about their fundraising efforts. Officer Adam Simonsen was Amigo’s partner.
Going Blue will make the Amigo shirts available through their Facebook page for online purchase once they have a larger quantity in coming days.
“We will also have another version of the shirt that has a little different logo on the front, and a different picture of amigo on the back,” Prince said. “We appreciate all the support for this project we are receiving statewide and across the country.”
Visit the Arizona Going Blue Facebook page at: facebook.com/ArizonaGoingBlue.
To donate funds to this or other Arizona Going Blue projects, visit: