This organization was formed to honor the service of K9 Nitro, an Explosives Detection K9
for the Marquette Police Department. He was more than just a working dog, he was an
ambassador of good will and a friendly face of the Marquette Police Department. His charm
drew the attention of everyone he came into contact with and was always eager to meet
new people. His true measure was not felt until June 28, 2021 when he was diagnosed with
an inoperable condition on his 8th birthday. Sadly, he never left the veterinary office that day
and the community lost their faithful K9. The true depth of his hold on the community and
the strength of his grip on the hearts of those who knew him was not fully realized in life.
When K9 Nitro passed away, the outpouring of support was immense. I never fully
appreciated the depth of his outreach. Condolences were coming in from as far away as
Spain and from all corners of our country. Individuals and organizations were offering their
financial support to replace their beloved Nitro and I didn’t have a good mechanism in place
to accept this support. I felt our K9 community was missing out on much needed resources.
One individual in particular has been very generous with our K9 needs, as well as many K9
needs throughout the state. Sharon M. Peters has been a huge supporter by providing Hero
trading cards, armor for the dogs as well as emergency medical bags with Narcan to keep
our pawtners safe. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and be another resource for K9
programs as my way to pay it forward. With that desire comes the inception of the Upper
Peninsula K9 Training Group, or simply UPK9.
This couldn’t be possible without the assistance of Detroit Police Department K9 Handler
(Ret) Mark Golembiewski for getting me in touch with the resources to prepare the required
legal paperwork. Again, without K9 Nitro, I wouldn’t have made that connection. We were
afforded the opportunity to have the paperwork completed properly and submitted to
achieve 503c Non Profit status.
In Nitro’s memory we are proud to be able to launch this organization to support and provide for K9 Teams in the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Marquette Police Department K9 Officer (K9 Zepp)
*While I am an officer for the Marquette Police Department, the group is not affiliated with the department or the city.