Fayette County

3K walk at Keeneland raises money for police dog made famous by photo

Figo extended a paw onto the casket of slain officer Jason Ellis.
Figo extended a paw onto the casket of slain officer Jason Ellis. Herald-Leader

Slain Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis' dog Figo led a 3K walk at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington on Saturday that raised $3,000 for Figo's care, an organizer said.

The walk was part of a continuing effort to raise money for the police dog, said Clayton Harvey, owner of the two Bluegrass Barkery pet bakeries in Lexington.

Figo and Ellis worked together in Bardstown. In the early morning of May 25 as Ellis was driving home, he was killed by an unknown assailant at an exit off the Blue Grass Parkway. Ellis, 33, was shot multiple times with a shotgun, and investigators think he was ambushed. Figo was not in the car at the time of the shooting.

Bardstown Mayor Bill Sheckles has announced that Figo would be retired and would spend the rest of his days with Ellis' family.

Ellis' wife, Amy, and two sons, Hunter and Parker, attended Saturday's walk, Harvey said.

Figo became known to people worldwide after freelance photographer Jonathan Palmer took a photo of Figo extending his paw onto the casket of his fallen partner.

Pam Peyton, who represents a dog rescue group, said she went to the walk Saturday because she, too, had been a single mother.

"To help them take care of the dog for the rest of its life is important. I just felt like it was the right thing to do," Peyton said.

Peyton said it was encouraging to see "lots of dogs" among those walking Saturday.

"We wanted to try to aid the family and alleviate any stress on Amy and the family as Figo ages, knowing that there would be funds in place to help with his care,'' Harvey said.

Donations are also being taken at the two Bluegrass Barkery stores, 152 West Tiverton Way and 3090 Helmsdale.

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