Kristine Hopkins is Named Blue-9 Pet Products Working Dog Scholarship Recipient
The Blue-9 Pet Products Working Dog Scholarship is awarded annually to a certified instructor of a working dog program, a handler of a certified working dog, or volunteer handler of a certified police, military, government agency, professional detection, or Search and Rescue K-9.
The Blue-9 scholarship is handled through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Foundation, which also awarded three conference scholarships to Mary Buck, Trudy Garvey and Elizabeth Maupin. This year’s Blue-9 recipient is Kristine A. Hopkins, CPDT-KA, who graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Animal Science. Kris’ father trained security dogs, so Kris’ earliest memory was being buried in German Shepherd puppies. At least one German Shepherd Dog has been with her ever since.
Kris’ 30-year animal career started as a zookeeper for the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania. In 1996 State College Police Department in Pennsylvania hired Kris and she became the K9 handler of their only two police K9s, each trained in tracking, apprehensions and narcotics detection.
Kris founded and is the current president of the Working K9 Association of Central Pennsylvania (WKACP), an organization for training police and search-and-rescue K9s. Kris does pet consulting through her company, Kris’ Pet Priorities. She lives in State College, along with her newest tracking K9 Casey, three other shepherds, one cat and two parrots.
Kris’ previous K9 partner, retired Police K9 Keno, passed away in March.
“I promise to you and to his memory that I will learn as much as I can from this opportunity to pay it forward to all the K9 teams that become a part of our non-profit WKACP. My current GSD K9 partner, 9-month-old Casey, is tracking like a dream already and that excitement of learning and achieving our goals grows once again. I so hope we work out as another WKACP K9 team so we can continue that legacy of serving our community directly with “boots on the ground”, but I will always be there to teach.”
Members of the APDT Board of Trustees and the APDT Foundation Board of Directors are not eligible. The purpose is to allow a certified instructor or a certified working dog handler to attend the APDT Annual Conference and to receive the educational and networking benefits of attendance.
The sponsors of the scholarship, Blue-9 Pet Products, began in 2013 when conversations with the professional K-9 training community revealed the need for a platform designed specifically for training use. From that input, the training platform Klimb was developed to improve a dog’s focus by elevating them off the ground.
“Blue-9 Pet Products’ mission has always been to help dogs and handlers succeed in their training,” said Jamie Popper, a company representative. “In line with that mission, Blue-9 supports the APDT Foundation Scholarship for working dog handlers. It is our hope that each scholarship winner will take what they learn each year at the APDT conference and apply that knowledge to help other working dogs and handlers.”
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1993 to be an inclusive forum for trainers to network with each other, provide educational opportunities, and grow the profession. Currently, the APDT reaches more than 5,200 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, business management, research, and continuing education in the professional dog training profession and pet industry.
Mandy Roberts, (859) 545-0483
2365 Harrodsburg Road, Suite A325
Lexington, KY 40504