Spring ISD Police Officer David Fuente and K-9 Paco visit with children during Career Day at Meyer Elementary in March 2018. Spring ISD File Photo
HOUSTON – Oct. 23, 2019 – A new K9 will be joining the Spring ISD Police Department in the coming months, thanks to the support of K9s4COPs, which is donating a specially-trained dog to assist in the detection of explosives.
The new K9 officer will be the second added to the police department, which currently has K9 Paco on the force with his handler, Officer David Fuentes.
“We are very excited that we will be able to have another K9 in the police department,” said Spring ISD Police Chief Kenneth Culbreath. “We are so appreciative of K9s4COPs for donating the animal to support our efforts to keep students and staff safe. This new K9 will add expertise that only a trained dog can provide. We can’t wait to get him on board.”
The new K9 is currently being trained in the very specific job of sniffing explosives, as well as learning best behaviors while on general patrol, said Cynthia Caronna of K9s4COPs. “He’s also very socialized because he’s going to be in schools around students,” she said. “He’ll be able to walk through crowds and be desensitized to those kinds of distractions so he can focus on his job.”
K9s4COPs is a non-profit agency that funds the purchase of highly trained K9 partners for law enforcement agencies and schools, which runs up to $45,000 per animal. The organization, in turn, asks for community support to help offset the costs. To make a donation on behalf of Spring ISD’s K9, please click here.
The district is currently in the process of selecting the K9s new handler, who will then get to select a dog from among a small group of trained German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois. “We want the officer to actually have a chance to select the K9 that he or she will be paired with to ensure a good match,” said Caronna. Police K9s typically live with their human officer so compatibility is important, she noted.
In eight years, K9s4COPs has given more than 200 K9s and seized over $350 million in contraband. For more information or to make a donation go to www.K9s4COPs.org.