CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 News congratulates two of its own.
Reporter Sia Nyorkor and Senior Producer Cassie Nist received a Genesis Award in the Outstanding TV News Series category.
The Genesis Awards are awarded annually by the Humane Society of the United States to individuals in the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works which raise public awareness of animal issues.
The duo delivered a series of reports on the death of K9 Jethro and also traveled to Houston where Canton Police Officer Ryan Davis chose his new partner, Tuko.
Jethro was the German shepherd partner of Officer Davis. He was the first Canton police K9 to die in the line of duty. Canton police's head K9 trainer stresses that were it not for Jethro's bravery, his human partner would have died.
"This is a recurring message throughout the series. A sad, yet heartwarming saga, it illustrates the reliance police officers have on their K9 partners, and how these dogs find themselves on the front lines of violence," according to Genesis.
After the tragic death of K9 Jethro, the Canton Police Department has taken steps to protect K9s in the future.
Money received through donations was used to purchase ballistic vests and given to the department K9s.
The new vests all have the same inscription:
In Memory of K9 Jethro
"We are so grateful that you chose to address this important animal protection issue in such an exemplary way," according to the organization.
Genesis Awards are presented by The Humane Society of the United States to recognize excellent works in television, print, film and other special categories.
1/9/16 - K9 Jethro shot while responding to burglar alarm
1/9/16- Criminal complaint filed against suspect Kelontre Barefield
1/10/16- K9 Jethro dies from injuries after surgery
1/14/16 - K9 Jethro Memorial service held at the Canton Memorial Civic Center
1/15/16- Kelontre Barefield arraigned on Agg Burglary charge and Assaulting or Harassing a Police Dog
1/23/16- Officer Ryan Davis, K9 trainers and Cleveland 19 News reporter Sia Nyorkor fly to Houston, TX to the Houston K9 Academy after a K9 was gifted to Officer Davis by K9s4Cops
1/24/16- Officer Davis selects K9 Tuko, a 14-month-old German shepherd from Hungary to be his crime fighting partner.
1/25/16 - Officer Davis and K9 Tuko fly home from Houston, TX to Cleveland, OH and head to Canton Police Headquarters.
2/1/16 - K9 Tuko and Officer Davis report to work. K9 Tuko has at least 12 weeks of training ahead of him before his first day on the street
3/1/16- Kelontre Barefield Indicted on additional charges and previous cases. He pleads not guilty.
9/26/16 - Kelontre Barefield changes his plea to guilty and is sentenced to a total of 34 years in prison for the death of K9 Jethro, aggravated burglary, and previous counts from other cases involving an unrelated aggravated robbery.
4/27/16 - K9 Tuko passes Canton Police Academy training, receives academy certificate from Canton Police K9 Training Officer Eric Stanbro. K9 Tuko will hit the streets soon.
5/11/16- "Jethro's Bill" (House Bill 447) bill passes, making a person who kills a K9 officer face a prison term of 11 years and a maximum fine of $20,000. The bill was merged into Goddard's Law (House Bill 60) which will go into effect on June 13.
6/13/16- Goddard's Law (House Bill 60) was signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 13 and goes into effect on June 14.