Saanich Police Const. Jon Zeilinski

Saanich police K9 team wins national competition

Saanich Const. Jon Zeilinski and police dog Zeke win Canadian Police K9 Championships for the third time

A Saanich Police Department K9 team is celebrating their “three-peat” win at the national Canadian Police K9 Championships, held last week in Kelowna.

Const. Jon Zeilinski and police dog Zeke were top overall winners once again, thanks to their near-perfect execution of drills and commands.

“We’ve got as close a partnership as you’ll see in policing,” Zeilinski said. “It’s a unique relationship. I spend more time with my dog than my wife or my family.”

Zeke took to the Saanich police training course like a duck to water on Wednesday, showcasing his skills by leaping through car windows, sauntering over plywood bridges and  crawling through tunnels.

Zeilinksi, who joined Saanich Police Department in 2003, became part of the K9 unit in 2007 and has been working with Zeke for the past four years.

The competition, he said, is intense as police dog units from across Canada show off the strength of their canine connection.

“You try to mentally prepare but until you’re there, you don’t know what kind of a competition you’re going to face,” he said.

It wasn’t all no work and no play. Zeilinski said the cops still know how to unwind when they get together.

“It was a lot of fun for sure,” said Zeilinski, throwing Zeke his chew toy before the dog settled down with the look of a job well done.

“The best part about working with Zeke is he’s always happy to go to work,” Zeilinski says.

editor@saanichnews.com