Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Diesel, the Czech bred police dog, is part family pet and part highly trained law enforcement tool. He's also very expensive.
"The vet bills add up, food, training and the initial purchase of the dog is expensive as well," said Deputy Ben Fye, of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department.
Those costs caught the attention of Al Amatuzio, the 90-year-old former fighter pilot who founded AMSOIL in Superior.
He's been a dog fancier for nearly a century.
"Even when I had a paper route as a little boy, I had a little pup and I carried him with me," reminisced Amatuzio.
Amatuzio helped found the AMSOIL Northland Law Enforcement K9 Foundation. It takes in private donations to aid the K9 units of Duluth police, Superior police plus the Saint Louis and Douglas Counties Sheriffs.
Diesel's handler, Deputy Ben Fye, is grateful for the foundation's work.
"It allows every department to keep K9 programs going and it'll instill having canines a long time down the road," said Fye.
To Al Amatuzio, helping police dogs is a way to pay back the community for his success.
"Who do you depend on if you're in trouble? It's the police and I appreciate them and I show my respect to them," said Amatuzio.
The Amsoil Northland Law Enforcement K9 foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible.