Pulaski County has a few decisions to make about the future of K-9 Gil.
The handling officer for the animal has decided to accept a job in White County. The dog originally cost Pulaski County about $8-thousand with another $8-thousand for training. What to do with the K-9 Unit is now up to the discretion of the Pulaski County Commissioners.
Sheriff Jeff Richwine says the board has a couple of options to consider.
“What I can do, I guess, within my budget – I wouldn’t have to ask for anymore money from [the commissioners] – to get another dog,” says Richwine. “It’s going to be $16-thousand or $17-thousand for the purchase and schooling of the new dog.”
Pulaski county could also gain about $5-thousand dollars by selling K-9 Gil and use that money to retrain a new officer and a new dog. The other option is to keep the dog and send the animal to training with a new officer.
Retraining the dog would take time. Classes are held every 6 weeks or so to help officers understand the animal, and teach the K-9 how to identify illicit substances or locate missing persons.
K-9 Gil was purchased with the help of donated funds through a golf outing and the sale of t-shirts around Pulaski County.
Commissioner Terry Young says similar situations have happened before.
“My comment is: this has happened to us twice in the past and it burns me,” says Young.
Police dogs are typically useful for eight to 10 years. K-9 Gil is currently about four years old.
The Commissioners agreed to table the measure to consider whether to offer the departing officer a price for the animal, or to simply keep the dog and retrain it.