K-9 units are becoming essential to the police force. The Bismarck PD lost 2 dogs this year. And finding a replacement doesn’t come cheap.
“We did retire Oscar. And then shortly after retirement, Oscar had to be put down due to medical illnesses. And then we ended up unexpectantly losing Luna,” said police chief Dan Donlin.
Fewer K9 units on duty means extra strain is put on the aminals putting in the overtime. But a replacement can cost $9,500, and that doesn’t include months of training.
“That can be upwards of 20 to 30 thousand dollars by the time you finally get a trained, equipped K-9,” Donlin added.
Bismarck’s 2018 budget wouldn’t allow for a new K-9, so they would have to wait until 2019.
“I was sad, and I knew then they were getting short of dogs. And so I said, ‘Hey, I would love to do this for them,” said Peggy Dittenberner.
Peggy stepped in with a donation of a whopping $10,000. The Bismarck Police Department couldn’t be more greatful.
Dan Donlin: “This is from the heart, the giving from an individual that truly sees a need. She could sit there and say, ‘hey, it’s the city’s issue and the city’s problem. They should be providing the funds in that.’ But not looking at the problem, looking at the solution is what I see her doing.”
They will specifically pick out the new K9 in the next few months, and Peggy will get to meet them upon her return to Bismarck over the summer.
She added, “I’ve never had children, and I feel like an expectant mother!”
The new dog’s handler hasn’t been chosen yet. Chief Donlin says it’s a competitive position at BPD.