The Billings Police Department's K-9 program receives donations - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

The Billings Police Department's K-9 program receives donations from local businesses

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

According to the Billings Police Department's Facebook page, two local businesses donated money to their K-9 program. The donations put the program halfway towards its goal, of adding two K-9 positions.

KULR-8's Briana Monte spoke with Lieutenant Brian Korell who said without the annual donation from Phillips 66 and an additional donation from Scheels, the K-9 program wouldn't be where it is today.

Lt. Korell said the K-9 program first started at the Billings Police Department in the 70's. After a hiatus, the program was brought back in 1996, but Lt. Korell said the program in its current state, is limited.

"We have a budget and, unlike many of the other departmental budgets, our budget is right at ten thousand dollars," Lt. Korell said. "But it's hard to determine how much we are going to spend because they're animals. Sometimes they get injured and we have health costs that are associated with them. We have a local business that does donate the food for the dogs, so that's an expenditure that we don't have, but it's hard to have a budget for the health for the dogs when one surgery can wipe out the budget for the whole year."

He said without the support from the community the K-9 program would be no more.

"They've been wonderful as far as donations and helping us along with this new program," Lt. Korell said.

Thanks to the amount of donations from the community, the program is moving forward with some some small changes that will make a big difference.

"We're putting on two new dogs, but we're having a selection process to pick the two new handlers to go with the dogs," Lt. Korell said. "Two of our existing handlers have put in applications and three new officers have put in applications for the positions as well. So we're going to be testing in a couple of weeks to pick the handlers and then we're going to start doing some scheduling to get the classes scheduled."

Lt. Korell said Denny Menholt just made a donation to the K-9 program Wednesday. He said the program has enough money to purchase one K-9 dog and are working towards buying the second dog. He also said the program is well on their way to getting that second K-9.

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