Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Photo Blog of My Day with the K-9s

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In yesterday’s blog, I provided a quick rundown of the training day I spent with the Massachusetts State Police K-9 Unit. Rather than go on and on about what a great day that was, I thought I’d show you with photos and pepper in a few fun and interesting K-9 factoids along the way.

Did you ever wonder how much a K-9 dog costs? A single purpose dog, i.e. one used only for patrol, or only for search and rescue, costs $2000 to $4000, and that’s without coming to a department pre-loaded with any training under its collar. A duel purpose dog, i.e. one that is used for patrol and narcotics, or patrol and explosives detection costs between $8000 and $10,000 on the low end, and up to $20,000 for a highly trained dog imported from Europe. That’s one pricy pup!

Springfield PD K-9 Chase, ready to
launch at a bite suit-wearing role player

Police departments and federal agencies want to protect their K-9s as much as their human officers. Like their handlers, K-9s are specially fitted for lightweight body armor that can cost upwards of $3000.

Massachusetts State Police K-9 body armor

Like their human handlers, K-9s may also suffer inadvertent overdoses from opioids encountered on the job. A K-9’s sense of smell can be thousands of times more sensitive than that of a human, one of many reasons why they are so valuable in the military and law enforcement. However, it also puts these K-9s at greater risk of opioid exposure. Officers carry Narcan or naloxone treatment kits in their vehicles. These kits contain life-saving inter-nasal sprays or auto-injectors, similar to an Epipen.

Opioid overdoes kit

Did you ever wonder what the inside of a K-9 officer’s vehicle looks like to a dog? Some K-9 units are sedans, while some are SUVs. Whatever the make and model, all are fitted with a custom kennel that gets inserted directly behind the front seat. And yes, I actually got into this vehicle to get a true dog’s eye view.

Massachusetts State Police K-9 Cairo

Massachusetts State Police K-9 SUV

My thanks to all the officers who’ve aided me in my continuing quest for K-9 knowledge. I can only hope I’ve done you justice.

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Secrets could destroy them.

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Nick Houston is as tough as they come, and he and his K-9, Saxon, are hot on the trail of a major illegal gun dealer. But his best lead—the beautiful owner of the Dog Park Café, Andi Hardt––is not cooperating. Doesn’t matter how sexy she is, or that his dog seems to be in love with her. She’s a suspect and he won’t cross that line. Ever.
Andi Hardt sank everything into her dream business—the Dog Park Café, a restaurant catering to dogs as much as people. Now everything is in jeopardy because of one extremely frustrating, incredibly hot state trooper. Like it or not, she’s in Nick’s crosshairs, and he’s calling the shots. Her only option: cooperate, or lose everything she’s worked so hard for.
Nick and Andi are catapulted straight into the danger zone, forcing them to make life-altering choices, and face their desires. Risking his life for Andi is the easy part. Risking his heart is the toughest assignment Nick will face.

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  1. Thank you for the inside look at K-9 officers. I have seen many over the years and around the country. I never noticed or realized there was a special kennel insert in the vehicles used for K-9 patrols. Patricia B.

    1. Yes! Apparently the entire back seat is removed and a prefabricated "cage" is inserted with a window for the officer to interact with his/her dog. For that one photo, I asked to go into the kennel to get a dog's-eye view of what it's like. The officer laughed and said no one's ever asked him to do that before. :-)


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