Buy a burger, help a local K-9 unit. Here's how
February 17, 2018 09:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – You don't need to spend a lot of time with the K-9 units of local law enforcement agencies to know they're all good boys ready to hunt for bad guys.
Many of them are bred in other countries, and have to go to through extensive training to be ready for work.
"All of our dogs are dual-purpose, so they're all trained in apprehension to be able to find bad guys," said Lt. Brandon Blackmon of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office. "They also have a secondary specialty. For example, we have some dogs that are trained in detecting narcotics. We have other dogs trained in detecting explosives, and we also have a cadaver dog that's trained in finding bodies or body parts that have been buried or hidden."
On Saturday, those dogs were taking a break from fighting crime to instead spend it with the people they serve.
Burgers were being sold as part of a fundraiser to help fund medical bills, vests and even retirement for the canines.
"I know they don't get to do this kind of thing a lot," Blackmon said. "If we're using a dog to find a bad guy or to sniff drugs or to sniff for bombs, we can't have little kids around."
One of the dogs on hand was Aris – an 8-year-old German Shepherd who has born in the Czech Republic and who has racked up 23 felony apprehensions.
"He is patrol and narcotic, and also a hard surface tracker," said Evan Anderson of the National Police Dog Foundation. "He is the best dog I ever had. He's very good with people."
Then there's Penny, a therapy dog who helps children suffering from trauma.
But over the years some of these K-9s can experience trauma of their own, resulting in expensive medical bills.
After they retire from service they'll need funding as well. So to help achieve that end, several McDonald's locations owned by the Garza family are donating money through March to the National Police Dog Foundation to specifically help APD's and BCSO's K-9 units.
You can find a full list of the participating restaurants here.
"This is definitely a big community thing," Blackmon said. "This helps the community be able to interact with the deputies, interact with our dogs, the horses the police department has and (to) come see things up close and personal."
Updated: February 17, 2018 09:13 PM
Created: February 17, 2018 05:57 PM
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