Lewis County Sheriff’s Office receives $1,500 Operation Helping Heroes award to help restart K9 program 


The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office received a $1,500 donation from COUNTRY Financial on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ,to support a new K9 for the sheriff’s office.   

The funds will go directly toward the immediate and ongoing costs associated with acquiring and training a new K9, COUNTRY Financial said in a news release. 

The new K9 will receive specialized training in search and seizure and apprehension search and rescue. The K9 will primarily assist deputies with the tracking and apprehension of suspects as well as detecting narcotics, according to the news release.

“With the retirement of our K9 Axel a few years ago, we’ve been working hard to get our K9 program up and running again to serve our community,” said Deputy Jared Kasinger of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. “It takes time and significant resources to maintain the program so donations like this make a big impact. We’re grateful for the contribution.”

The funding itself comes from COUNTRY Financial’s Operation Helping Heroes program, through which COUNTRY Financial representatives can identify “heroes” in their communities and do something personally to give back.

“I am so appreciative of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us,” said COUNTRY Financial representative Laurie Gunsolley. “I’m so glad I have the opportunity to do something to give back.”

The Operation Helping Heroes program was created in 2015 to support non-profit events and programs that benefit active-duty service members, veterans and their families. Later, the program expanded to include first responders and teachers. 

In total, COUNTRY Financial has donated more than $5 million through the Operation Helping Heroes program since 2020, according to the news release. 

COUNTRY Financial serves about 1 million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, business, farm and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities, according to the news release.