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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Liz MoralesA hearty crowd of hungry Moniteau County residents chow down on an assortment of barbecue options Sept. 28 for the Moniteau County K-9 Fundraiser. Every dollar raised through the barbecue goes to the care of the two K-9 officers, Mizzou and Apollo.

This year's Moniteau County K-9 Fundraiser went off without a hitch as just more than $4,000 was raised to benefit the department's trusted canines.

Sheriff Tony Wheatley said the Sept. 28 fundraiser reeled in around 430 hungry customers in the three hours lunch was served, just in front of National TV Sales and Rental at Village Green Shopping Center. Every penny earned will go toward the care of K-9s Apollo and Mizzou. This includes equipment, training and upkeep of both canine officers.

Wheatley said Apollo and Mizzou are not funded by the county budget, but "rely solely on the fundraiser every year to support them."

Speaking of fundraisers, Wheatley said there may be an additional venue for next year's event.

"National TV sponsored the fundraiser this year and has stated that they want to sponsor again next year as well," Wheatley said. "We have had a business located in Tipton that has also expressed interest to sponsor next year as well and were thinking of having two next year: one in Tipton and the other in California."

In the meantime, Mizzou may be getting a new home in the next year or so.

"As you may know, K-9 Mizzou is a little over seven years old now and is getting close to retirement," Wheatley said. "We are currently looking at getting another K-9 to replace herdon't worry. Mizzou will retire with me and stay with me at my residence when she completes her tour of duty."

Wheatley expresses his gratitude for all who attended the barbecue, and also to the California Veterinary Clinic who donates all medical needs and medications for both K-9s.

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