BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and team Chairman Steve Kalafer have received the Somerset County 4-H K9 Dano Award.

The K9 Dano Award is given annually to Somerset County businesses or residents that have gone above and beyond in their treatment of animals. 

“We are truly honored to receive the K9 Dano Award,” said Kalafer. “The Somerset Patriots take pride in hosting events during the season to allow fans to bring their dogs to the ballpark to enjoy America’s favorite pastime with the entire family. These special nights have brought awareness to different animal-related charities and have helped find pets new homes through adoptions. We are all proud to receive this award, especially our favorite dog Sparkee, who was one of Dano’s long-time pals.”

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K9 Dano was a Somerset County Sheriff’s Office police dog from 2002 to 2014. On Aug. 13, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed “Dano’s Law” to protect all law enforcement animals from death threats. Dano was the first animal in New Jersey history to have a law bearing his name.

K9 Dano passed away at the age of 13 in December 2014 and was inducted into the New Jersey Animal Hall of Fame in 2015. His legacy lives on with the K9 Dano Award presented by the Somerset County 4-H.

“I want to personally thank Steve Kalafer and the Somerset Patriots for promoting dog and cat adoptions at the ballpark numerous times a year. They are a champion to our community,” said Tim Pino, Retired K9 Unit Commander and K9 Dano's handler. 
The award was presented on Sunday, January 14th at the 4-H Center in Bridgewater. 

Previous award winners were the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater (2015) and the United States Equestrian Team in Gladstone (2016).

The Somerset Patriots led the Atlantic League in attendance and made their 14th appearance in the playoffs last season. The Somerset Patriots will welcome their 7,000,000th fan in their 20th season at TD Bank Ballpark in 2018.  Opening Day is set for April 27. For more information about the 2018 Season presented by Ford, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com.