City of Wasilla launches fundraiser to pay for new police dog

(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 8, 2017 at 4:12 PM AKDT
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A city in Alaska's fastest growing borough is in need of a specific police officer.

Following the death of K9 Marshal earlier this year, Wasilla has started fundraising to purchase a new police dog.

Wasilla Mayor, Bert Cottle said he hopes to raise between $30,000 and $50,000 dollars needed for the replacement dog.

"If I have to wait until the budget cycle that could be another year and once we get the money it’s still three to four months to get the dog, the training and the whole process. So, even though we get the dog it’s not an overnight thing," he said.

Cottle said the K9's are so expensive because they require specialized training, a specific diet, a patrol car and handler, and can also rack up overtime.

Channel 2 News spoke with several taxpayers Thursday. All of them agree the city should have a police dog, but are divided over how to pay for one.

"Money is tight everywhere so that way if they have a fundraiser people have a choice whether they want to support it or not," said Cathy Gardino

Wasilla resident, Dana Avugiak said she thinks the funds for a new K9 should come out of the city's budget, "I think they should increase the budget to take care of important things for our community like this."

The Mayor acknowledges the loss of Marshal in April, who had to be euthanized following the discovery of an "aggressive" cancer was not an anticipated cost.

Cottle said if donors contribute more than what's needed during the fundraiser, the money will be used to cover future expenses for the K9.

The city said it hopes to have a new patrol dog back on the streets within the next six months.

Tax deductible donations can be made to the Wasilla Police Department or the city of Wasilla's Finance Department.