I was recently honored to work with the family of a retired police dog, “Nails”, who served the Ambridge police department from September 26, 2006 through April 6, 2009 with Sergeant Richard Heitzenrater.
Nails was a Belgian Malinois who came to the Heitzenrater family as a rescue. Sergeant Heitzenrater recognized Nails’ talents and trained the dog himself. Nails had a really good nose and picked up the skills of the “sniffer” quickly in drug investigations and search and rescue.
He was also a very popular dog all on his own, great with kids when visiting schools, and he had his own little fan club in the neighborhood.
Nails retired at the same time Sergeant Heitzenrater retired, enjoying the life of just being a pet.
Nail’s retired police dog tag is displayed with Sergeant Heitzenrater’s badges on a plaque in the Ambridge police department.