By: Colin Blankenship, Story Department
When local law enforcement funding decreases, agencies have to make cuts all across the board. This includes K9-Units across the country with experienced handlers who can’t afford their K9 partners. Harris County Deputy Ted Dahlin from Texas is one such example. His K9 partner Blek was killed in the line of duty on December 23, 2009. Deputy Dahlin states that K9 Blek’s sacrifice saved his own life. However, Deputy Dahlin’s K9 was not replaced immediately because the department didn’t have the funds for another K9. Fortunately, an organization based out of Houston is trying to remedy this situation.
After watching the report about Deputy Dahlin and his K9 on a local news program, Harris County resident Kristi Schiller was deeply moved. She decided to look further into the world of police canines. She had no professional experience with canines, just a desire to help out departments facing this challenge.
In June 2010, Schiller formed K9s4COPs, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to buy K9s for departments across the country that can’t afford them. In March 2011, K9s4COPs received its 501(c ) (3) status and is currently the only national non-profit with this status dedicated to raising funds for K9s. Each dog purchased by K9s4COPs costs between $10,000 and $15,000 depending on experience and training. This is a small price compared to the millions of dollars of narcotics they take off the street, criminal apprehensions, and, in many cases, saving an officer’s life.
In the past two years, 30 K9s have been placed with handlers in 14 different law enforcement agencies. The support for K9s4COPs has been overwhelming. In October 2011, K9s4COPs held it’s first fundraiser and raised over $500,000. These funds are used to gift K9s to law enforcement agencies across Texas and the nation. K9s4COPs continues to receive requests from across the country for K9s, and, with help, they plan to fill as many of those request as possible.
Tonight at 9P, on Alpha Dogs: Busted, see how this relationship began when Kenny and the gang meet up with Liz from K9s4Cops. Liz introduces Kenny to Jeff Covington, a Madisonville PD officer who will be receiving a dog from K9s4Cops and Vohne Liche. This will be the first dog purchased by K9s4Cops through VLK, and the success of this pairing could be the deciding factor in solidifying a business relationship between the kennels and K9s4Cops.
After going through a few dog choices, Jeff falls in love with a dog and has made up his mind. But he then drops a bombshell on Kenny – his county is surrounded by water on three sides, and the dog he picks must be able to work in and around water. It’s up to Bobby and Luther to make sure this dog can be comfortable and work in water. If these two can’t get it done, it could end the relationship with K9s4Cops and VLK.
Tune in to back-to-back new episodes of Alpha Dogs tonight at 9P on Nat Geo WILD.