Re-establishing the K-9 Connection: Connecticut to Illinois

Re-establishing the K-9 Connection: CT to IL

April 6, 2021 – The Hometown Foundation, Inc. recently donated a dual purpose Belgian Malinois K-9 to the Bartonville Illinois Police Department. In December of 2020, The Hometown Foundation, Inc. became aware that the Bartonville Police lost their previous working dog, K-9 Nitro, to cancer in October of 2020. The department was left with an important vacancy and a K-9 position that needed to be filled. The Hometown Foundation took immediate action, contacted the department and decided to donate a dual purpose K-9 to their department.

With the support from our sponsors and the success from our National Campaign, Hometown Heroes Giveaway, we were able to donate K-9 Grym to the Bartonville Police Department who selected Officer Jason Howard to be their K-9 Handler. Officer Howard became a K-9 Handler in 2015 with K-9 Nitro and is looking forward to partnering with K-9 Grym to continue to serve his community. K-9 Grym will be used for traffic stops, article searches, tracking suspects, finding elderly and Alzheimers patients as well as utilized as a community tool within the school systems.

In Illinois, K-9 Units are required to earn 16 hours of training each month. When asked why he wants to continue being a K-9 Handler even after the passing of K-9 Nitro, Officer Howard explained “It’s kind of a calling to it, I loved every minute of it. When you [Hometown Foundation] called, I was actually shocked. For a person that talks a lot, I was actually speechless. Working with you was fantastic, made everything simple and less stressed. The process and the utmost support from the foundation was amazing.”

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is committed to equipping law enforcement agencies with Police K-9 Units to ensure they are serving their communities positively and impartially. Our team understands the value of Police K-9s and our mission is to educate others on the invaluable assets that they offer to law enforcement agencies. The Hometown Foundation takes pride in supporting those around them and creating relationships. When our own community is in need, we step up and make change happen. To see how you can get involved or make a donation, email us at

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