PETAL — The City of Petal welcomed two new officers to its unit. Dena is a four-year-old Dutch Shepherd from California. She and her friend Boris, a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois from Florida are the newest members of the force.
“It’s a great benefit to our department,” Chief Leonard Fuller said.
He explained these dogs completed 16 hours a week for six weeks of training. They’re multipurpose dogs.
“Not only do they detect narcotics, but if we have a lost person or we’re hunting for somebody, maybe a criminal that’s escaped, the dog can actually track the individual,” Fuller said.
They are also gentile enough to be taken into the schools to interact with kids.
He said this is the first time in 12 years Petal has used K9s due to the high cost involved. Boris cost $10,000.
“The officers actually raised the money, and we had donations from fund raisers,” Fuller said. “And the citizens of Petal and business owners donated the money.”
One of the biggest expenses was modifying the police cars to fit the dogs’ needs.
“Not only is it great for the people of Petal, but also surrounding agencies that need help tracking lost individuals or looking for somebody or request our help,” Fuller said.
He also mentioned that Petal Animal Clinic has been beneficial in providing care for the animals.