A town is getting its first police dog in 20 years, thanks to a 5-year-old boy.

From stray to the sheriff's office, this pup's had quite the journey.

This dog's name is Bosco, and he's going to help solve crimes, in part thanks to a 5-year-old boy in Iowa.

In January 2016, Bosco will be joining the police department in Ankeny, Iowa, as part of its brand new K-9 unit. He comes by way of an animal shelter in Syracuse, Indiana, where he was taken in as a stray puppy. There, a shelter trainer noticed Bosco had potential to work as a police tracking dog and brought him to the attention of a police trainer in Omaha, Nebraska.


Bosco and his handler Officer Bret Lappin. All images via City of Ankeny/YouTube.

Local businesses and town residents donated toward the campaign to bring Bosco to Ankeny.

The Ankeny City Council set a fundraising goal of $20,000 to help pay some of the initial costs of getting the K-9 unit up and running. Thanks to all the donations pouring in, the Ankeny Police Department exceeded that goal and successfully raised nearly $30,000 toward Bosco's training and other K-9 unit start-up costs.

Bosco attends a press conference announcing his addition to Ankeny's force.

But it was a donation from 5-year-old Tristan Sommerfeld that helped put the campaign over the top.

When he grows up, Tristan wants to be a police officer. After learning his hometown police department was trying to raise money to give Ankeny its first K-9 unit in 20 years, Tristan decided to help make it happen.

"My birthday, a lot of people gave me some money," said Tristan to WHO-TV in Des Moines. "Rather than asking for gifts from friends and family, we asked for donations for the K-9 fund," added his mom, Amber Sommerfeld.

Tristan raised a total of $1,500 and donated all of it to make sure his local police department could get the K-9 fund off the ground by the time he's old enough to join the force.


5-year-old Tristan Sommerfeld joins Ankeny Police Chief Gary Mikulec at a press conference.

Police dogs can play an important role in helping to find missing people or detect drugs.

"We've had some cases in the past where people have gone missing and having a dog that can track is going to be very helpful," said Bosco's handler Officer Bret Lappin.

And while the effectiveness of a dog's ability to help find people or drugs varies based on factors like breed, environment, and training, K-9 units are a valuable addition to any town's police force.

Tristan, Bosco, and Officer Lappin chat outside the press conference.

Check out Bosco's introduction below, and follow his journey on Instagram.

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Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

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Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

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"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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