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Boy raises $12,000 for new K-9

Ethan and Echo on May 12, 2017 (WLUK/David Duchan)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) -- An 8-year-old boy with a big heart is helping the Green Bay Police Department.

After the department suffered the loss of one of its police dogs he was able to raise thousands of dollars. Ethan Engum raised $12,000 to be exact, all going toward a new K-9.

Friday afternoon, he was able to meet his new four-legged friend for the first time.

This meeting was eight months in the making.

"He's cool," Engum said of his new buddy, Echo.

Echo is the newest member of the Green Bay Police Department and it's thanks to Engum's hard work.

It started last year when Engum's mother called the department asking if they could visit.

"They had recently adopted a German shepherd puppy and he had really taken an interest in police dogs and wanted to be a police K-9 handler when he grew up," explained Lt. Matt VanEgeren.

So officers invited Engum to come meet a K-9.

Unfortunately, the day of his visit, the department's newest K-9 officer died unexpectedly.

"He was the only bomb detection dog we had at our department. So when we lost him it created a big hole in our unit," VanEgeren told FOX 11 News.

"I heard that the dog died. So I decided I could help and raise money to get a new dog," told us.

Engum had a lofty goal in mind: $10,000 for a new police pup, but he and his family worked at it and the community responded.

"I had a gofundme page and people just kept on adding money to it!" Engum explained.

Engum eventually raised $12,000 dollars in eight months to fund K-9 Echo.

"Without him raising all this money for us I don't know how long it would've taken, but it could've been years before we were able to replace this dog," VanEgeren told FOX 11.

Officers said they're grateful Engum helped them in their time of need, The previous K-9 they lost was their youngest.

"We were expecting that dog to work for another 7-8 years. So we didn't have money budgeted to replace that dog," VanEgeren explained.

Engum told us he's thankful to everyone who donated.

He said his story proves one thing about officers like Echo: "that it's a good cause for the police department!"

Engum came up with the name Echo because of his own dog. Engum's German shepherd's mother was named Echo.

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