Park event to raise funds for Glendale police dogs


For the dogs, it's playtime at a Santa Paula training facility. But their police work is serious business.

Twice a week, the Glendale Police Department K-9 Unit goes through drills to make sure both dog and handler are ready to handle many tense situations, including going after a suspect who won't exit a vehicle.

Handlers with Ventura Police and Cal State Northridge Campus Police departments also train at the Santa Paula facility.

Taxpayer dollars are not spent to train the dogs.

"This is not free. Our food's not free. Everything has a price value. And all this comes from our donation base that we have," said Glendale Police Officer Alex Rolando.

The cost to get a dog ready to hit the streets of Glendale is about $20,000. The yearly maintenance is thousands more.

"Every year after that, the maintenance for a police dog, for the training anyway, is about $1,200," said Glendale Police Officer Shawn Sholtis. "And then the food and everything else is a total of about $15,000 for four dogs."

The Glendale Police Foundation raises the money needed to keep their four dogs on the job. The dogs are trained to sniff for narcotics and explosives.

The dogs, according to their handlers, keep officers out of harm's way.

"People will take on 10 officers with their batons out, which I've seen. I've rolled up to the scene, I come out with my dog and the person immediately gives up," said Officer Maribel Feeley. "They just don't want to take on a dog."

When Glendale Police started its K-9 unit in 2005, it promised to raise the money it needs to train and maintain the dogs through private donations. The fourth annual Glendale K-9s In The Park fundraiser is on Saturday at Verdugo Park.

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