YORK – The day after the county’s K-9 deputy, Nitro II, was killed, York County Sheriff Paul Vrbka received a call.
It was a representative of Adopt A Pet.
“They said they wanted to help and were taking in donations,” the sheriff recalls. “They also wanted to know how much a service dog costs, in order to replace Nitro.”
The purchase of a law enforcement service dog takes about $6,500-$8,000.
The Adopt A Pet community took in a flurry of donations from many in the area.
Meanwhile, an Omaha man donated a service dog to the sheriff’s department to fill that third canine slot that is currently open. With training underway, it looks like that new drug dog is very talented and will be joining the force after about 250 more hours of dog/handler drug detection training and future certification is completed.
“Turns out, Adopt A Pet has incredibly collected about $24,000,” Sheriff Vrbka said.
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Not only did the donations far exceed what a service dog would cost, the need to pay for a new service dog is not necessary at this very moment because of the Omaha man’s donation.
Sheriff Vrbka said a representative of Adopt A Pet contacted him recently, saying they want to have some sort of community event, complete with the local contingency of canine units, during which they will present the donated money to the sheriff’s department.
“These generous donations will be used to support our canine program,” Sheriff Vrkba said. “It will be invaluable to us, to have these funds to help support our program which has three dogs now. We can use the funds for medical and training expenses, emergency treatments and even replacements if something tragic happens as these dogs are not insured. The funds could also go toward replacing one of our current dogs if a retirement takes place. These dogs are usually retired between five and eight years old and we have one that is approaching the age of five. There are a lot of equipment and training expenses with our canine program and these funds will be so very much appreciated.”
He also noted it is going to take about $10,000 to replace all the canine equipment that was destroyed in the situation in which Nitro was killed – about $3,500 for the canine box that goes inside a cruiser, about $4,500 for a temperature unit for the animal inside a cruiser and about $2,000 for other related equipment.
“These generous donations will help us keep the county’s canine program going strong and be a nest egg for if and when we need to bring in another dog, while also maintaining the three we now have,” Sheriff Vrbka said. “I, along with the whole department, have been overwhelmed by the generous spirit and support we have received. These acts of monetary kindness will go a long way in caring for these animals, while ensuring our law enforcement canine program is strong and effective.”