Free program benefits Perryville Police

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Officer Larry Nunes and ‘Liberty’ take a walk. (Photo Courtesy Perryville Police Department)

PERRYVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s the best of both worlds — abandoned animals get a home and useful purpose and small police departments get an inexpensive but valuable crime-fighting tool.

The Perryville Police Department is the latest in the region to take advantage of a shelter dog program that provides an inexpensive and highly effective resource to help combat crime. 

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Through the Animal Farm Foundation’s (AFF) Detection Dog Grant Program and Sector K9, shelter dogs are trained to become weapon and drugs detection dogs to assist police officers in fighting crime. Perryville Police, which only has four officers, recently welcomed ‘Liberty’ to its team.

Officer Larry Nunes is the handler, in essence giving the department another officer on patrol.

Traditionally, purebred detection dogs cost as much as $20,000.  Because of a grant provided by Animal Farm Foundation, the dogs that go through Sector K9 training program are free to police departments and schools.

The training period usually takes eight weeks. Using AFF’s philosophy that all dogs are individuals and should not be categorized because of their breed, each shelter selects dogs to be donated to the program based on their personality traits.

Sector K9 trains the dogs to prepare them to work with police departments helping them detect drugs, explosives, and weapons.  To date more 70 dogs have been placed across the country in police departments and schools through this program.