XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) — It was the Christmas party Karson never had, even complete with a fair amount of snow Sunday.
Yates Karate in Xenia was decked out for Christmas in March, and it was all for K9 Karson
The dog’s handler, Officer Jerry Popp, is a black belt and he’s been with the martial arts school since 1983. When the Wilmington Police K9 went missing around Christmastime, Yates Karate joined the search for Officer Popp’s four legged partner. But the community’s prayers were answered when Karson was spotted in a Clinton County field in February.
“Everyone just burst into tears,” said Joy Wright who was part of the search party.
It was a Christmas miracle that happened a few months late. The Karate school thought a Christmas celebration was only fitting.
“We banded together to buy gifts for Karson since he missed Christmas,” said Wright. “We came in and helped decorate because we just wanted to make this say special for them because it’s been such a long ordeal.”
Wright said she never gave up hope.
“We just knew they’d be reunited. They had to be,” said Wright.
The Christmas party was not only a welcoming for Karson, but it was a chance for the community to meet the beloved dog that has garnered an outpouring of support.
“It was just amazing — a group of people from three communities coming together like this,” said Facebook supporter Gloria Davidson.
Police said Karson is doing well and he’s going through training to slowly work his way back onto the force.