At last week’s Dallas City Council meeting the council voted to accept the donation of a 1-year-old German shepherd named Thor from owners Sgt. John Butterworth and Officer Chris Garmon.
Butterworth started the K-9 unit in 2009 when the city purchased a German shepherd named Ruger. He was purchased by the city untrained for $6,500.
Training costs for the animals by private individuals or a company can range from $4,000 to $5,000, Butterworth said.
With the officers donating the dog, and training it themselves they have saved the city about $12,000, he said.
Thor still has to go through a five-day national certification process before he is able to start serving the community. The North American Police Work Dog Association, which assists police work dog teams around the world, will administer the certification session beginning Oct. 6.
“We have been training with him since we got him,” Butterworth said.
Maj. Jim Boshell said the advantage of having two dogs is it keeps the officers from being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now the officers will be able to split the four work shifts by each working one and being on call for another.
Butterworth said they have been talking about adding another dog for years.
“Officer Chris Garmon was a good fit for the next K-9 unit,” he said.
The dogs live with the officers to strengthen the bond between the two, Butterworth said.
Thor is being certified as a “dual purpose K-9,” which means he can be used for drug detection or service; as well as tracking and apprehending suspects and locating articles such as discarded weapons.
Since the K-9 unit’s inception Ruger has tracked about 12 felony suspects, which have been arrested, and apprehended six. He also is credited with 27 assists on drug detection cases.