A K9 from Westchester County and his handler are celebrating after passing a "rigorous skill evaluation."

Westchester County K9 Receives New Title After Rigorous Skill Evaluation

Phoenix the K9 with the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services is officially a. American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen according to a Facebook post shared this week.

A Canine Good Citizen title is "earned by a K-9 and its handler after completing a rigorous 10-skill evaluation." The evaluation focuses on obedience and handler development. Pheonix and his handler Samantha worked together to develop skills like staying in place, accepting a friendly stranger, reacting to distractions and many other skills.

Not only did K9 Phoenix earn the CGC title, but he and Samantha also earned the title of AKC Novice Trick Dog. This title explores Phoenix's versatility and intelligence. He learned and completed 5 new tricks like giving high-fives and a challenge called "Find it" where Phoneix had to locate a treat hidden under one of several cups.

K9 Phoenix's Next Journey: Therapy Dog

While congratulating Phoenix and Samantha on social media, the Westchester County DES shared that they will be continuing to follow their journey. The next title K9 Phoenix is after? Therapy Dog!

Phoenix has been a part of the DES team since 2022 and they explain he has been a "beacon of positivity and resilience. His presence has brought unconditional love and support to every staff member and visitor who enters our building."

They add:

His promotion of emotional, physical, and cognitive engagement in both group and individual settings has been invaluable, making him an integral part of our team.

K9 Leaves Lasting Effect on Saugerties, New York Community

Local Hudson Valley K9s are important to our community and their families in and out of a work setting. Last year, a K9 named Max with the Saugerties Police Department was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

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To honor K9 Max, the whole community showed up to say goodbye after his final shift. Take a look at the emotional photos and how K9 Max affected his community below:

Emotional Goodbye: K9 Max's Final Walkout with the Saugerties Police Department

Supporters lined up to say goodbye to the K9 who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer back in April. 

Meet some of the K9s in other counties across the Hudson Valley, like Taya from Poughkeepsie who joined the force in 2021:

Meet the Town of Poughkeepsie's Newest K9, Taya

Gallery Credit: Valerie Turco

And the 8 K9s that work with the Orange County Sheriff's Office:

Meet the 8 K9s of the Orange County Sheriff's Office

The Orange County Sheriff's Office has 8 K9s certified in many different areas, all of them are certified good pups who deserve all the treats and belly rubs.

Gallery Credit: The Orange County Sheriff's Office