Nick Hedrick | [email protected]
VEEDERSBURG – Section K-9 of the Fountain County’s Sheriff’s Office is seeking funding to potentially house a dog and for further education, training, and maintenance.
Contributions to the program, which started in 2011 and operates without public funding, have declined and the agency has been working with a dog since the second dog retired last year, K-9 assistant handler Tyler Bowling said.
Financing comes from grants and donations from residents, companies and industries.
“We have worked diligently for the past 10 years to keep the K-9 program going with the donations made by our great community,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.
K-9s are considered a special forces unit and most law enforcement agencies don’t have enough money to maintain such programs after paying officers’ salaries, equipment and training costs, according to the National Police Dog Foundation.
The department’s dog, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois named Odin, was brought to the United States from Poland to serve as a police dog. He came to the department from Vohne Liche Kennels near Peru.
Odin is a dual purpose dog certified for the detection, tracking, and arrest of narcotics. He has been used in hundreds of drug cases, helped locate missing children, and assisted surrounding law enforcement agencies.
The unit is also looking to buy a new kennel for Bowling’s service vehicle and must cover ongoing costs for veterinary bills, food, annual recertifications, and equipment such as harness and bulletproof vest.
The full training cost alone can range from $ 12,000 to $ 15,000 per dog, depending on the length of the lesson, according to the foundation.
Those interested in donating to the program can stop by the department at 439 ECR 50S, Veedersburg, or call 765-793-2410 and ask for Nancy during regular business hours.