Testimonials & Press Release

Gracias, Thank you for a great dog

This is Carlos luis Rodriguez thank you Andres for great dogs we are very happy Elsa and Juno says hello

Pattenburg Fire K9 Unit,Est 2008.
Bill Hardenburg and myself, realized after a search for a missing man that there were no search dogs available in our area and that something needed to be done. As a result, we decided to go talk to who we feel is the best trainer in the world,Andres Aportela, in Kingwood Twp,NJ. Andres was more than happy to help a volunteer organization and the local community. Bill and I used our own money to start the unit ,over $50,000 for training ,supplies,dogs,and the K-9 vehicle.We couldn't have done it without Andres' help, generous donation and discounts.Tim Vom Ortenberg (AKA:Timmy) and Bandit aus Kingston Village (AKA: Bandi) are the best dogs all around. They're great trackers,pets and are great at our local schools with the kids.We have been used hundreds of times for missing dogs,and people. Local Police that routinely call us include Clinton Twp,Raritan Twp,and Frenchtown Police. Our latest find was in Frenchtown for a suicidal male,as both dogs were used to track him down and save the man's life. Andres is an amazing trainer,a great friend and teacher. He has helped make our community a much safer place to live, work, and enjoy. Bill loved going to training; it was his life until his tragic death nearly two years ago. Every search we do, the dogs and I try to make Bill and Andres proud.The Pattenburg Fire Company proudly recommends Andres Aportela ,for any of your training needs. Thank You Andres for Everything!
Dan VanFossen
Chief Pattenburg Volunteer Fire Company

Search dog at Bethlehem Twp. ceremony honoring his late handler

By Terry Wright/Hunterdon County Democrat 

on December 22, 2012 at 9:12 AM, updated December 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

 Tim Vom Ortenberg (AKA: Timmy ) was there, sitting or standing quietly as the ceremony went on. He didn’t know what all the fuss was about at the Bethlehem Township Committee meeting Thursday night.


Timmy is a 6-year-old German shepherd, present because his handler was being honored. But William Hardenburg wasn’t there. The longtime fire and rescue volunteer was killedat the age of 67 in an accident while working for a contractor cleaning up storm damage after Hurricane Sandy.

Hardenburg and his stepson, Chief Dan VanFossen of the Pattenburg Fire Company, acquired Timmy two years ago and had him trained as a search-and-rescue dog for the fire department, to help find missing people, such as persons with Alzheimer’s disease who wandered off. VanFossen thought it very appropriate to bring Timmy to the township’s Holiday Celebration and award ceremony.

Besides Hardenburg, three other people were honored: longtime recreation volunteer and coach Cliff Tanzler — who also died this year — and Richard and Jill Prakopcyk. He is noted for the township’s thriving lacrosse program, the Warriors, and she for constantly volunteering for the town, her church, the North Hunterdon Booster Club and many other groups.

Mayor John Graefe told of how Hardenburg “loved being a resident and to help protect the residents.” He was township Office of Emergency Management coordinator the past four years.

After Sandy, he ran the area emergency center for four days, 24 hours per day during which he answered innumerable phone calls and responded to many incidents.

As a volunteer with the Pattenburg Rescue Squad, “Bill went on 345 calls over the past two years as a first responder” and was also volunteer with the Pattenburg Fire Company, Graefe said. Over the past five years he answered more than 2,000 fire calls. Both volunteer agencies help cover Bethlehem.

“Bill was on call 24-7, 365 days per year for the fire company, the rescue squad and the township OEM. Bill would try to help anyone at any time,” Graefe said.

And he “helped many elderly Bethlehem Township residents by fixing their broken equipment — anything from sump pumps to generators to cars,” the mayor added.

His wife, Cathy, and VanFossen accepted the award in remembrance of Hardenburg.

VanFossen on Wednesday night had taken both Timmy and his their other tracking dog, Bandit aus Kingston Village (AKA: Bandy), to the Union Township Committee meeting. The fire company, based in Union, serves parts of both townships.

Cliff Tanzler died June 16 at the age of 51. The community lost a member whose kind, gentle, generous and caring ways touched so many,” said Tom Berger and Cindy Szokol, close friends of Tanzler. They both spoke of his many accomplishments.

Both Cliff and his wife, Sharon gave so much freely and willingly for the betterment of the community, they said. They were early on in the township recreation program and while she started and ran the snack shack concessions to raise money for the ever-growing program, he began coaching girl’s sports when his daughter Julia was a kindergartener. For more than nine years he coached soccer and softball and several years coached two teams at once when not enough coach volunteers stepped up, Berger noted.

“Cliff cherished the opportunity to positively influence kid’s lives through his sense of kindness and lessons of sportsmanship and community.” In addition to running his own business, Critical Path Project Management, he taught engineering and business courses as an adjunct professor at Lehigh University. He helped build the Heritage Park playground in 2003 and was always on hand to assist with the Hoppock School play, whether helping to paint the stage or assist with the prop construction. Additionally he devoted many hours as a vestry member of the Church of the Holy Spirit and volunteered his expertise with Mr. Fixit of Hunterdon County.

Richard and Jill Prakopcyk are well-known for their involvement in both sports and other activities A standout lacrosse player at Hunterdon Central High and Rutgers, he was cited for helping start Bethlehem’s program in 1998, one which has grown tremendously.

According to Graefe, “his leadership and mentorship brings boys to the program, not just from Bethlehem Township, but from all the surrounding towns. His reputation is fantastic and the head coaches and commissioners who work with him have also stayed on through the years."

He donated his time designing and helping with the original plans for Huczko fields and also gave his services designing the national lacrosse monument to be erected in Baltimore.

“Rich has taken his passion and passed it on to hundreds of children. His dedication to the program has brought accolades to our town,” Graefe said.

“Richard and Jill are always thinking of the importance of serving others and ensuring that they have a meaningful and enjoyable experience,” the mayor said.

Jill received praise for her extensive involvement in township recreation, implementing the annual Holiday Luncheon for senior citizens and for continuing to serve as NHHS Booster Club president even tough her youngest son graduated two years ago.


Pro Canine Center /Von Apoll Kennel was the importer and trainer of Tim Vom Ortenberg and Bandit aus Kingston Village.




Thank you for such a wonderful dog, litter name Boss. He is now 2 years old and we named him Rocco. Rocco is a truly fantastic GSD and is everything you read about how a GSD should be.

 He is great with kids as he is very gentle with my son and daughter. Rocco loves them to death. He loves to play, just grab any branch (stick) and he’ll play fetch till he’s completely exhausted. He understands a lot of words; just mention the word “walk” and he’ll run to the door, sit and wait for you to take him for a walk.

 He has a great nose; I’ll hide treats in the house, tell him “go find” and he finds them. So far he’s found every treat I’ve hidden, he just doesn’t give up. 

He’s naturally protective in that, if you’re a newcomer in my house, he will instinctively keep you at front door until I say it’s okay. One night we had an intruder try to break into my house at 3am while I was away on business and Rocco was able to fend him off, jumping up on the door barking feverishly, till police arrived. The intruder was arrested a few blocks from my house. This was very upsetting for my wife and kids but a good thing that we have Rocco.

Rocco is a true companion, since he was a pup he is always by my side and when I sit down he lays down right at my feet. When I go to bed, he hops right in and curls up. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning he’s licking my face till I get up. Rocco is a fast learner; you can literally teach him new commands in minutes. He’s very easy to handle as he did obedience and basic protection work in a snap. Rocco is a big boy topping 100lbs, he loves to eat but you would never know it by looking at him. He is very lean, athletic, runs like a Gazelle and jumps over obstacles with the greatest of ease. He is a very strong dog, loaded with muscle and powerful. Rocco doesn’t lose playing tug, only if you tell him “out.”


Ever since we brought him home Rocco has truly been a joy since he was a puppy. He’s a do-it-all dog with a great personality and gives you 100% of himself every day.



The Hanzich Family



Xena Vom Ortenberg, aka (Dorothy) saved my life. She gives me the confidence to go places I didn't feel comfortable going to after I returned from Iraq. She has given me my life back and made me the mother I always wanted to be. With Dorothy's help I have been able to take my daughter to the beach, to museums, the park and I can even go food shopping now. Dorothy is by my side day and night. She goes everywhere I go and she is constantly giving me a quick lick on my hand to reassure me when I am nervous. She is just amazing and I love her!
Lauren CustFemale
Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes



Dear Pro Canine Center:

Thanks to this wonderful dog Gantan Von Apoll, my life has changed completely.

Ssgt. Jones


Dear Pro Canine Center:         2012

I wanted to write a letter to appreciate you and the Canine Battle Buddies Program, by K-9 Soldiers, Inc. When I first learned about the Canine Battle Buddies Program I was interested in learning more about the program for veterans I work with. The veterans I work with often experience issues related to traumas they have experienced during a deployment overseas. These traumatic events often lead to post traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder. The most common issues for people dealing with PTSD are: the fear and anxiety of entering public places, social isolation and depression. As I started to learn more about the program through JT Gabriel of Canine Battle Buddies, I realized I too could benefit from the support of a service dog. In January of this year I was introduced to Jacqua Von Apoll, aka (Jaguar). Since I have brought her home she has not only supported me with introducing veterans to the human animal bond but also with helping me handle the daily stressors of dealing with PTSD. Jaguar has brought many others to the program – she actively engages with every human she meets. She continues to impress me on a daily basis with her ability to “read” and “assess” humans as well as situations. Jaguar has significantly changed the way I look at the world- she provides me with a sense of safety and security in addition she supports me in my mission to bring each and every veteran HOME. Thank you Pro Canine Center- Andres, Kumiko and JT Gabriel from K-9 Soldiers, Inc. for giving me the opportunity to be in the presence of such an incredible being- my friend and Battle Buddy- Jaguar.

Kathleen Saucier, LPC, NCC
Readjustment Counselor
Hartford Vet Center

After growing up with  "American line" German Shepherds

who had physical problems, my parents went to

Andre to get a shepherd from "European lines". 

We could not have been happier with the first dog we got- Thor.

He is smart and very gentle with the young kids in our family. 

When it was time to get another dog, of course we went back to Andre.

When we got our most recent dog, Henna von Apoll or Sandy,

I was able to train with Andre and get her certified with a BH.

She was so willing to work and very easy to train. 

While I was training her I watched Andre work his dog

"Cliff vom Nordecker Hof"- with whom I fell in love. 
When his half brother came up for sale, I jumped at the opportunity to buy him. 
Belos vom Ortenberg or Klaus as we call him, is a great dog.

Not only is he smart when we are training and a great protection dog at the house, he is also very loving.  We have an 81 year old woman in the house who

he is very gentle around and makes her feel very safe when no one is home.

I'm looking foward to watching Klaus mature and grow old with us.

When we were first married my husband and I bought home
our first shepherd and we were hooked. 
During  our forty-two years of marriage,
we have always had at least two shepherds
but our first five each had hip problems and
we went through many recoveries from surgery.
My husband learned of Andre and the fact that
he is very careful in the lines he used in breeding.
We have been very happy owners of three of his dogs
and know we will return to him again
if the need for a new puppy arises.
Not only is Andre careful in his breeding,
but he tries to maych the puppy with the prospective
owner's purpose for getting the dog.
We wanted a house put and Andre would point out
which puppy would be good for us.  
P. C
Dear Kumiko                                                      2011
James Von Apoll (Aka: Jimmy) of the J Litter is a joy to have.
He is now 2 years old and loves to do SchH training.
He loves to do tracking.
My baby boy is  a quick learner, confident, cautious and serious.
He is serious when training but around me or my family,
he is such a goof ball.
I'm very pleased to have him as my pet,son, and
as my partner in SchH training.
Thank you so much.           
Hi,                                                                                         March,2008
Eric (Aka; Eric Dodge) is great!
He is getting bigger by the day. I will attach a few VERY cute pics of him. He
continues to steal our hearts and shower us with kisses. He is certainly taking
advantage of being a puppy and uses his cuteness to get away with everything.
We love him.


                                         September, 2008

Dear Kumiko :  

I'm enclosing a couple of photos of " Pepper" , She is the puppy you named
" Geisha Von Apoll ". We called her "Puppy" for the longest time, and so Pepper was colse for a call name.
She is not really big, about 60-65 pounds right now, and frankly,
I am glad because she has enough energy for 10 dogs. She is extremely bright,
learns extremely quickly and has a very good nature; she is confident,
curious, funny and no aggression problems.
she has lots of prey drive, and will not quit. We have had no problems with her
whatsoever, except she likes to chase out cats, it's a game to her,
not aggressive. She plays, and keeps herself occupied during the day
in her kennel run, and I try to work her every day. She has high energy,
but she will relax with you, and not "bug" you to play or beg or annoy you.
She's a very good citizen. We also have an old (14!) year old GSD female,
"Lucy" and a 2 year old Bouvier female at home and they get along fine,
but they are not kept together while I'm not home. She's a lovely dog
and a great addition to our family.
If you ever get to our area, please feel free to call and see her.
                                        August, 2008

Dear Kumiko,  

Thank you for your letter
and inquiry regarding the puppy we purchased from you in March. 
Between us, my husband C and I have had 8 dogs, one of whom was a German shepherd
and another who was half German shepherd. 
Gary Von Apoll (Aka: Baron) is the smartest dog we’ve ever had. 
He knows at least a dozen commands by now and is learning more. 
Baron’s energy is abounding.  We learn that if we exercise him,
he is a very good dog and if we don’t…not so good. 
So, he plays Frisbee fetch, goes jogging with one of us,
as well as plays ball – every day! 
He is keeping us in shape. 

Baron’s temperament has been great so far –
he is able to socialize with all kinds of dogs and people. 
He has also been good with our 3 month old baby. 
He’s frankly not that interested in her –
or anyone who can’t interact with him in some way.

Since we are fairly local,
we’d be happy to bring Baron by the Pro Canine Center for you to meet him
again.  Attached are some recent photos.

Best regards,
J. S
                                        August, 2008

Hello Kumiko!   
Greetings from Pennsylvania!!!  Hoping this email finds you and your family well.
Thank you for your recent correspondence concerning the purchase of
our wonderful GSD from you!!!! 
What a spectacular dog!  R absolutely adores his new friend
as well as Nikko being constantly attached to his side -
everything he does and everywhere he goes,
his dog is by his side or trying to sit in his lap!!!  LOL!!! 
As we brought him home, we thought quite sometime for a new name
and wanted to name him after you, but since you had a feminine name
we settled for another Japanese name - hope you like it! 
He has certainly brought some sunshine back into our home,
since the loss of our last dog.  We love him very much and
everyday he is just becoming more and more part of us and our home. 
He is already protective and has been working on the puppy bag
as well as basic obedience - picking up new commands quite quickly. 
House breaking was a matter of honestly two days -
he's soooo smart!!! 
Up until recently, he was running every morning three miles with me,
of which was no challenge for him to keep up.  I had to change my
running schedule due to the change in sunrise times. 
I am going to try to download some pics for you, but please know
I am not the best with all the electronics. 
Some of my outside pics didn't turn out due to the lighting,
so as soon as I obtain new pictures I will be sure to send them your way.
Oh, I forgot to mention how much he enjoys taking a ride with us in the car!!! 
Also, nothing seems to intimidate him - he has solid nerves and
ready to check anything out!  He is actually an attraction in
the neighborhood when we take him out for walks on the lead -
never pulls and heels right next to our side. 
He also loves to swim on the warm weather days! 
Okay, well I have to mention that he can be quite a slob when drinking his water -
you can find water anywhere from his bowl to all over the kitchen -
a small inconvenience that we can live with for such a fine companion!!!! 
We love him very much and wouldn't ever consider trading him
for anything - he is a special part of our family!  We'll keep you updated as he
further progresses.  Wishing you all the best!  Blessings, 

~r & s.

                                        August, 2008                     
Hi Kumiko,       
I got your note in the mail today and
was very excited to see you are interested in your dogs
and not just the sale of a puppy.
Sorry we left so quickly
when we picked up Gazali, but I thought a quick exit was best for

We changed his name to Nikko. (Gazali Von Apoll)
What a great dog. He is my constant companion,
and buddy. Nikko has grown quite a bit and weighs 73lbs now,
and still growing. I get a lot of compliments on him
as he is a very handsome boy.
His manners have improved
and we take him almost everywhere. Basic obedience is coming along
very nicely as he is a fast learner.
While he is a bundle of energy and always ready to go,
he also just lays at my feet when I need a break.
(like he is doing now)
Nikko is going to make a great protection dog as
he is inquisitive and fearless. I have him biting
the puppy pillow and will soon have him on the sleeve.
I can't tell you how much I like Nikko.
You should be proud to have bread such
a wonderful dog.
My wife will send some
pictures and her thoughts on Nikko in the next few days.

Please stay in touch, and I
hope to bring Nikko out to see you sometime.

Best wishes to

R. E