HATBORO, PA —While the borough builds its plaza to honor fallen Police Officer Ryan Allen, his former partner pooch is also receiving some recognition.
Starting Monday, the Hatboro Police Department will begin selling plush versions of Hatboro’s favorite K-9, Louie.
The stuffed animals will be available for $20 each with all proceeds benefitting the Hatboro Police Canine Fund. Supplies are limited.
They can be purchased at the police department at 120 E. Montgomery Ave.
The borough thanked Elm Street Hatboro for sponsoring the project.
“We are incredibly honored by their constant support of the borough’s K-9 program,” the borough said in a Facebook post.
Borough Manager Diane Hegele said the project was the idea of Louie’s handler, Officer Michael Thompson, who took over from Allen, when he died over a year ago from a freak bee sting.
“It benefits the program that Ryan started and Mike is continuing,” Hegele said. “The council supports Officer Thompson and Police Chief James Gardner with this.”
Following Allen’s passing, Thompson took over the responsibility of the police department’s canine unit.
Last November, Thompson and K-9 Louie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center’s Basic Patrol School. They graduated from the narcotics scent detection school in the spring of 2022, a prior borough Facebook post stated.
“We thank and commend Officer Thompson for his dedication to this program and for keeping Officer Allen’s dream alive of having one of the finest canine teams available to protect and serve the community of Hatboro,” the post stated.
Allen, a police officer since 2013 who was the borough’s K-9 officer, died on April 7, 2022, six months after having a heart attack following a freak bee sting incident.
Allen never had allergic reactions to bees and had been stung before. But in October 2021, he experienced an anaphylactic shock from a bee sting and suffered a heart attack. He never recovered.
“I think any fundraising effort to keep the K-9 unit that my husband, Ryan, founded going so Louie can keep doing what he was trained to do and have Ryan’s legacy and memory continue in Hatboro is amazing,” his widow Whitney Allen told Patch Thursday.
The Ryan Allen Plaza will include new benches, flowers, a plaque dedicated to Allen, new trash receptacles, and new sidewalks.
Hatboro officials said the plaza at 49 S. York Rd. comes courtesy of a nearly $40,000 T-Mobile Smart Growth America and Main Street America grant. A check presentation took place last April.