Police K-9 Units - Aurora Animal Care Center

Aurora Veterinary Clinic

305 Aurora Commons Circle
Aurora, OH 44202



Police K-9 Units

Aurora Veterinary Clinic is proud to serve the police dogs of Aurora, Mantua, Streetsboro and Garrettsville.


Aurora Police Department


Nero, a German Shepherd, became state certified and is teamed up with his handler, Officer Dale Riley, a veteran of the department who expressed interest in becoming a canine handler when the opportunity arose.

Nero was born in Slovakia before being brought to the United States in March 2014. Riley and Nero underwent six weeks of intense training by Excel K9 in Hiram before completing their state certifications.

Nero is trained in the following areas: narcotics, obedience, tracking, evidence search, area/building search and handler protection.



Aurora Fire Department


Connor, a Labrador Retriever, was a rescue from the Greater Dayton Lab Rescue in late 2014. His birthday was estimated at June 5, 2013. He was trained by the Columbus Bomb Squad K9 Unit in Accelerant Detection. He spent 12 weeks of solo training, and completed it in June 2015 and has been partnered with his handler since May of 2015.

Connor is trained to search for accelerants (ignitable liquids) used to spread/start a fire. The liquids are classified as gasoline, Light, medium and heavy  Petroleum Distillates (LPD), (MPD),(HPD), Isoparaffinic Products, Naphthenic Paraffinic Products. These include gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, camping fuels, cigarette liquid fluids, charcoal lighter fluids, paint thinners, mineral spirits, lamp oils, candle oils etc. Any combination of these products and their base components fall into the above categories.

Connor is certified by the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal Forensic Lab. He recertifies annually with three other accelerant K9’s.

Connor is assigned to Northern Ohio and covers from the Indiana/Michigan Border to the Pennsylvania Border but he can respond anywhere inside or outside Ohio (adjoining states) if needed.



Streetsboro Police Department


Kaya, a Belgian Malinois, was born January 10th 2016. He was donated by Tom Schmidt from BARK, Buckeye Area Regional K9’s. Kaya was certified in June in narcotics, finding articles, and tracking people. In August, Kaya was certified in apprehension, handler protection, and off leash obedience.



Streetsboro Police Department


Reno, a Belgian Malinois, partners with Officer Aaron Coates, and is nephew to Kaya (SPD's other K9 Unit). Reno was born January 8th 2017 in Utica,  Ohio.  His father is K9 Blaze of the Utica Police Department. Reno achieved all of his state certifications after turning one year old. Reno is a dual purpose police K9, certified through the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy.



Garrettsville Police Department


Jack, a German Shepherd, was born March 23, 2014 in Czechoslovakia. The Village Of Garrettsville purchased Jack from Von Der Haus Gill Kennel in Wapakoneta Ohio. Jack and his handler attended a six week training course at Von Der Haus Gill Kennel and became certified by the State of Ohio in Narcotics Detection and Patrol work, such as tracking, evidence recovery, building and area searches, and apprehensions. Since they started working together Jack has become a member of my family and a very strong asset to the Village of Garrettsville.



Garrettsville Police Department


In loving memory of Taz.



Mantua Police Department


In loving memory of Diablo: Diablo was born December 24, 2008 in the Czech Republic. On November 1, 2014 he was partnered with Sgt. Joe Urso of the Mantua Police Department, who is Diablo’s second handler. In November 2014, Sgt. Urso completed his training with Diablo at Excel K-9 in Hiram Twp. Upon completion of his training Diablo can detect marijuana, heroin, crack, cocaine, methamphetamines, and any derivatives of these. Diablo, which means “devil” in Spanish, received his name in support of the Crestwood Red Devils; where he works along with Sgt. Urso five days a week. Diablo passed away on March 20, 2017 after a battle with cancer. He will be forever in our hearts and is missed by all.



Mantua Police Department


In loving memory of Vader: Vader was born on April 11, 2011 in the Czech Republic. Vader came to America in 2012 and was paired up with then Patrolman Ken Justus. Vader and Justus attended a 6 week basic training program at Excel K-9 in Hiram. Vader is certified in Narcotics, Tracking, Article Search, Apprehension, Building Searches, Area Searches, and Handler Protection. Vader lives with now Lieutenant Justus at his home. Vader was the first police dog for the Mantua Police Department since 2001. Vader is the sixth police dog in the history of the Mantua Police Department. Vader came with a pedigree and is bred from a competition Schutzhund German Shepherd.