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possibly leaving department, what about K-9?


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  • possibly leaving department, what about K-9?

    I have a general question for you LEO's out there. Here is my situation, I work for a very small department, actually a Probation Department. There are less than thirty sworn officers in my department. About three years ago, I went to the Chief and pitched the idea of getting a narcotics dog to help with the abundance of searches I was doing on all types of bad guys and girls. Anyway, I was told that if I could raise the money, I could have the dog. Well, I did, and I do. I have a great little Malinois that is a phenominal narc dog. We have done quite a job together, and the dog is now used by every agency in my county, which has been fruitfull. The county has invested some money into the program, such as food, car, and monthly traininig expenses. I raised about 90% of the money to purchase the dog and the initial training, and was able to get the vetrinary services donated.

    So now I am at a cross-roads. I have applied for a three agencies in another state. I have been upfront about my looking elsewhere, and now my new Chief (the last one retired) is telling me that if I leave, I will need to come up with $4,000 to take the dog with me. There is no one in this department that is capable or willing to take on the dog (That would require someone doing some work ) so that is out of the question. They can't use the dog, but they want me to pay them to take it. I am interested in what you all think about this situation, it is kindof unique in that this was my pet project, and all the work to get the dog, get the program going, and the sucess of the dog are due to my hard work. Yet my reward is getting hit with a bill of sorts, before I am even gone, or close to gone. All the more reason to pack up and leave this hole.

    Long story short, they have no use for the dog, yet they want me to fork over 4k, I think I will just take the dog into the Chief's office when/if (fingers crossed) I leave and take the leash off that I bought, and wish them all luck dealing with a crazed Malinois with seperation anxiety. Maybe they will reduce their price then eh?

  • #2
    Maybe one of the agencies you're applying with would be interested in picking up you & your partner in a package deal? If they were interested in adding an additional drug dog & handler (or perhaps picking up their first one), $4000 dollars for an experienced K9 & handler that can hit the ground running seems like a good deal. Fiscally, it makes good sense. The dog will pay for himself.


    • #3
      canine handler changing jobs

      Welcome to the world of beiing a k-9 handler who leaves a dept.

      A few questions! Who pays the dog's medical bills? Who pays for the expenses, i.e. dog food, equipment, etc? Also, what is the age of the dog and what was the original purchase price of the animal?

      If you are responsible for all the maintenance cost of the animal you may have a bargaining chip with the dept. Also, if the original cost of the animal was $4,000, depending on how long you worked the animal and how old it is now it like any other piece of equipment depreciates and is not longer worth that amount. You could approach the chief and attempt to negotiate the price down. I would not approach the chief and cry about how this dog is now part of your family and how the kids will miss it, etc. That usually just makes people mad.

      You can hammer me for saying the following all you want, but here goes. The final word on this animal is that it belongs to the dept. and it is a piece of equipment. You may not believe that anyone in the dept. is capable of handling the dog, but your chief may not have the same idea. If the dog is relatively young the chief has a responsibility to the dept. and agency to use the departmental resources to the best of his ability. One of those responsibilities may be not giving away $4000 piece of equipment. You personally don't want to spend that amount for the dog, well if the dog is being used as you stated to work for other agencies in the area. One of those agencies may be willing to pay that price. Personally if the dog is young, i.e. three or under, $4000 is not a bad price for a drug certified Mal. if it can be trained in patrol work that is even a better price.

      I've been in your shoes! Have had to turn some jobs down because I love working with my partner. I have worked with my present partner a little less than a year. If I left my dept. or accepted a promotion within the dept. I would have to turn him in and that right now is not an option. Choices you have to make being a canine handler.


      • #4
        I agree

        I agree.. Over all the K9 belongs to your dept. The best bet is to see if any new agency is willing to pay for the K9. But remeber most major agencies require 5 years seniority to get into K9 .. To just slide right in may become a problem.. Also be careful in jumping agencies. After a while Officers are labled as Gypsy Officers and are imposible to hire or rehire.
        On the upside depending on age, 4000 for a trained Malinut is a good deal. If there is no one willing to take your lead then you should be able to bargain the $$. That after all is a lot of liability and cost to have un-used.



        • #5
          Sounds to me like you need to decide how much you really want to keep the pup. I know that my department would flat out say that the dog is not for sale. (Then again our K-9 program is pretty big).


          • #6
            My dept had a K9 until the handler went to a different dept. When he left he took the dog with him. He discovered that this dept was required to pay him extra for boarding. I'm not sure but I believe it was 1 1/2 hours per day in overtime. The dept didn't and when he left, he took the dog. When the dept took him to court they lost. He also was payed back pay when he left.
            Check to see if your dept was required to pay you overtime. If they are and they didn't, you may have something to work with in keeping your dog.
            Good Luck


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