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Ripon waives adoption fees for Topper
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RIPON – Elected officials voted to waive the fees for Topper’s adoption.

The soon-to-be-retired Ripon Police Department’s drug detection K-9 will now be allowed to join the family of his handler, Officer Gordon West.

“He’ll be the family pet, I’m assuming,” said Mayor Elden ‘Red’ Nutt at last week’s City Council meeting.

Councilman Dean Uecker suggested the waiving of the nominal adoption fee for the aging black Labrador that came as a generous donation from the Ripon Rotary Club in 2005.

Topper was only 2 years old back then.

“This dog has done this community due diligence,” Uecker said.

Added Nutt: “He’s been an asset to the city.”

For five years, they patrolled the city and participated in many task forces and assisted allied agencies.

His first partner was the late Officer Robert Winget, who died of injuries sustained in an ATV accident while patrolling a remote area near the Stanislaus River in April 2007.

Winget’s widow, Chris, was also in attendance at the council meeting.

Topper has helped officers seize 56 pounds of cocaine, 13 pounds of marijuana, 24.5 ounces of methamphetamine, 69 ecstasy pills, 1,425 prescription pills, and seven firearms including an AK-47.

The dog’s narcotic detection certification is expiring, with police currently looking to obtain donations to purchase another K-9 to help fill the void.