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Nestle Purina PetCare, citizens contribute to making Fort Dodge safer

Their donations made it possible to get a new police dog

Dogs have become an essential part of police work.

A properly trained police dog can tackle and even disarm a criminal. A dog can also sniff out illegal drugs and other contraband. A dog’s acute sense of smell can also be used to track down a person, including fugitives and lost children. And sometimes just the presence of a police dog can have a calming effect on situations.

The Fort Dodge Police Department has had a canine program for years. About a year ago, Abram, one of the department’s dogs, was retired. The Police Department wanted to replace him as soon as possible.

But obtaining a police canine isn’t as simple as going to the local animal shelter and picking out a puppy. Police dogs generally come from a handful of breeds and must have a special combination of strength and temperment. And they need lots of specialized training.

Acquiring, training and equipping a police canine is not cheap.

The Fort Dodge Police Department recently replaced Abram with a new German shepherd dog named Draco. The full cost of getting Draco wasn’t in the current city budget, but the Police Department was able to rely on supportive citizens and a generous corporation to afford him.

Nestle Purina PetCare, which has a plant at 2400 Fifth Ave. S., awarded the city a $12,000 grant which covered most of the $18,000 cost.

Nestle Purina PetCare has long been a mainstay in the local economy. The company and its employees have been involved in lots of initiatives to support the community. Awarding a grant to support the police canine program is just the latest in a long line of contributions.

The remaining money came in smaller amounts from individuals who believe having a police dog on the beat is a cause worth giving some of their hard-earned money to.

We say thank you to Nestle Purina PetCare and all the other donors.

We’re pleased that such a community-minded company is in Fort Dodge, and we’re proud of the citizens who chipped in to make our city a safer place.