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Posted on Nov 27, 2018

Quincy Police look for funding for a drug-detection dog

Police Chief Kieth Siebert is serious about keeping drugs away from Quincy. If the old ways don’t work, he has new approaches. One of his plans is using a drug-detection dog.
“This will not be an attack dog,” Siebert pointed out. “We would use the new K9 in traffic stops, at schools and overall to smell the drugs.”
Imagine a bird dog at work, pointing out the target without touching.
Chief Siebert hopes to have the dog working by the summer of 2019.
Employing a working police K9 is no simple matter; it’s a long process of finding the right dog, training the officer and the dog separately and together and making the necessary adjustments at the police department. Such changes include outfitting a patrol car appropriately for transporting a dog, which sometimes has to wait inside the vehicle, acquiring a safety vest for the animal, as well as veterinary care, plus food.
It will cost between $15,000 and $25,000, and it is not in the budget this year.
Siebert said, “I have applied for grants, and some money is coming from those, but we still need donations.”
The initial purchase will depend on donations, but once the dog is with the police department, it will become a part of the budget.
The department’s designated canine handler is Officer Mike Stump. He has passed all the preliminary testing and will attend the Washington State Patrol Academy in Shelton for a 10-week training course with the dog.
The police department is not alone in working on funding for the dog. Friends of Quincy Animal Shelter has embarked on a mission to raise $15,000 toward the drug-detection dog purchase. On Nov. 16, they estimated that the funding is at the half-way mark. Considering the donation drive started at the National Night Out in August 2018, they have made good progress.
The two ladies in charge of the Friends of Quincy Animal Shelter are Mary Bates and Penny Wininger. They are directing all the drug-dog donations to the police department.
“We are a nonprofit organization, separate from Quincy’s animal shelter, so we can decide where the money goes,” Wininger said.
Bates said that they have given presentations at the Rotary, Lions and Moose meetings and have been well received.
“We also spread the word at our weekly women’s coffee and even at the grocery store while waiting in line,” Wininger said.
Bates mentioned another aspect regarding the drug-dog donation drive: “This could be a way for those who have lost a loved one to drugs to make their donation a memorial.”
“Once the drug-sniffing K9 is public knowledge, that might be a deterrent for drug trafficking in Quincy,” Wininger pointed out.
To make a donation, send a check to: Friends of Quincy Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 981, Quincy, WA, 98848. Please write “Drug Dog” on your check.
It may seem like a lot of money toward a single dog, but the benefits are considerable in reducing drug trafficking in Quincy. Sniffer dogs have already been proven quite effective elsewhere. KOMONews.com reported that in April 2018, a Lewis County dog detected and stopped a shipment of 126 pounds of meth that was headed for distribution in Eastern Washington.
“Most crimes in Quincy are drug-related,” Siebert said. “A drug-detection K9 will be a great help.”

By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register