SIDNEY — The K-9 dogs in Shelby County received a special treat Thursday afternoon.
Hubbard Feeds of Botkins, an Allech company, has donated enough Kinetic Performance Dog Food for the three K-9s for an entire year of meals. The donation benefits the three K-9s — one each in the Sidney Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Center Police Department.
“Our corporation donated 40,000 pounds of dog food to a K-9 training facility. They sent out fliers about it,” said Doug Kaiser, of Hubbard Foods. “I talked with our employees and they all thought it was a great idea to support the dogs.”
Kaiser contacted Sidney Police Chief Will Balling about the donation. Balling contacted the Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Center.
“Good quality food will extend the life of a K-9,” said Balling. “We all want a good working dog.”
Sidney Officer Rodney Robbins said his K-9 eats about 60 to 70 pounds of dog food a month. Deputy Frank Bleigh, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said his K-9 eats about 50 pounds of food a month.
“This is going to save us about $1,000 a month,” said Jackson Center Police Chief Joe Cotterman.
It’s estimated that the total donation will be 2,800 pounds of dog food for the three departments.
“This is a great donation,” said Bleigh. “I’ve been told this food is a very good quality and you’re able to fine-tune it for the dog’s need. It’s great to see a local business taking a role with the K-9s.”
Military dogs, said Chief Deputy Jim Frye, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, use a maximum-stress diet which contains lots of protein. Kaiser said the Kinetic dog food has 26 percent protein for full-grown dogs and 28 percent protein for puppies.
Balling said the donation will also help with the county’s fight on heroin.
“Fighting heroin is what we need to do,” said Balling. “Hubbard will help with that issue with this donation. It will help the citizens and shows we’re taking a stance against heroin.”
The K-9s are trained to detect drugs in vehicles, houses and on people.
“Our employees have kids and grandkids,” said Kaiser. “We want to help get heroin off the streets. This donation is one way to do it.”
Balling said a K-9 costs around $13,000, which includes the purchase of the dog and training for both the dog and the handler. Additional money is used to equip a cruiser with everything needed for the K-9.
“Our K-9 cars are a single-use car,” said Balling. “The K-9 lives with the handler and they are with them 24 hours a day.”
Bleigh said the Sheriff’s Office also uses just one car for his K-9. He takes the vehicle home each night and is ready to go 24/7 if the K-9 is needed.
“We provide a support role in Shelby County,” said Bleigh. “Anyone can request our help. We went to Hardin County to help them.”
Bleigh said some nights the K-9 will be used in two or three searches. Other nights there are no searches.
“Even if there are no searches, we’re always training with them,” said Bleigh. “We do obedience training and tracking. You are always in training with your dog.”
Hubbard also donated $500 to the Sidney Police Department which will go toward the purchase of a second K-9 for the department in 2016.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.