ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers are asking the public not to make donations to GoFundMe accounts that were opened following the shooting death of an AST K9 on Sunday.
“While the Department of Public Safety appreciates the condolences and the overwhelming support that we have received from the public, we are not seeking any type of monetary donations,” troopers wrote in a Facebook post.
“Any site requesting funds regarding the deceased K9, no matter how well meaning the intent, are not done in coordination with, or approval of, the Department.”
Troopers are warning the public that the fundraisers may be “fraudulent in nature” and are asking the public not to make donations.
An AST K9 was shot and killed while pursuing an armed suspect on Sunday morning. Because troopers returned fire, the incident being treated as an officer-involved shooting and troopers have not publicly identified the officers or the name of the K9 involved pending an investigation per DPS policy.
However, law enforcement agencies including the Anchorage and Fairbanks Police Departments yesterday posted their condolences to AST for the loss of a K9 identified as Helo.
A GoFundMe account created on Sunday called “Help protect our AST K9S” said it was raising money for a donation to Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a company that provides protective vests to police dogs.
The account creator, Steve Duncan of Big Lake, said he first started his charity campaign as "an emotional response to the killing of that K9."
He has since stopped accepting donations after Vested Interest informed him it's their policy to not accept donations from GoFundMe accounts.
"It was all done in the best interest of our State Troopers here and their dogs, but I understand completely where they're coming from," said Duncan.
Another account, called “Alaska State Troopers K9” wants to raise enough money to train a new dog to replace the deceased K9.
“This go fund me page will donate 100% to Alaska State Troopers to help with a new recruit,” the page reads