Thiele takes the leash
Storm Lake Police officers are heartened by the early response to their fundraising campaign to purchase a new police dog.
"We've had numerous people come to us with donations, both private individuals and area businesses," Captain Todd Erskine told the Pilot-Tribune. "Not only have local residents helped us out, we've had people mail in donations from other cities after they had heard that we lost our last animal."
"It seems that there are a lot of dog lovers around, and they see this as a positive program to give to," he said.
The department needs to collect $10,000, and the total has not yet been reached, Erskine said. Donations can be sent to Storm Lake Police k-9 Unit, 401 E. Milwaukee.
Officer Brad Thiele has been named to take over the K-9 unit as soon as the fund goal is met.
"We are still researching potential sources for a dog, and the type of dog that will be obtained. We have a choice between purchasing a dog that has already been trained and then having the officer trained in orientation to the dog, or obtaining a dog that has not yet been trained, so that we can fully train the animal and the officer together," Erskine said.
The previous police dog had to be put to sleep recently as it suffered from internal damages relating to exposure to methamphetamine drugs it had sniffed out earlier in its career.