Saint Michael, the German Shepherd Dog in this video, was purchased by the Newtown Police Department with the support of the Trap Falls Kennel Club and the AKC community.
From a previous survey, we learned that many AKC clubs are looking for a way to get more involved with their police department and their K-9 program.
Police K-9s are essential members of law enforcement and perform vital tasks that humans cannot, including pursuing and apprehending fugitives, detecting illegal substances and explosives, and searching for missing people.
Unfortunately, many police department K-9 units are suffering budget cuts due to the poor economy, and they are unable to solicit money due to town and municipality codes. As a result, some K-9 handlers forgo training or personally fund their dogs’ needs, and in some communities K-9s may not be replaced upon retirement due to budgetary restrictions. Costs are high, with dogs averaging $10,000.
For these reasons, many police K-9 units rely on donations to continue their mission. This is where AKC clubs can help! When a club raises money to donate directly to their local police department for the purchase of a new dog, AKC Reunite will provide matching funds to that police department to make their new K-9 a reality.
*NOTE: Soliciting charitable donations from the public could give rise to certain legal obligations, including registration with and reporting to your State authorities. Therefore, you should seek legal advice before undertaking your fundraising campaign to make sure you comply with all applicable laws. Neither AKC nor AKC Reunite shall be responsible for any liability arising from or related to your fundraising campaign.
Reaching Out to Your Local Police Department
If your club has worked with the local police K-9 unit before, you may already have contacts that can help you get started. If you’ve never reached out to the local police department, give them a call to introduce yourself and tell the department about your club’s support of purpose-bred dogs like police K-9s. Discuss their needs. If the department is looking for a new police K-9, explain that your club can raise money to support the purchase of a new dog, and that AKC Reunite matching funds are available to help.
How to Get Started
In order for the recipient police department to qualify for the AKC Reunite matching funds, your club will need to raise at least fifty percent of the purchase price of the dog. In addition, the recipient police department must agree to display the AKC Reunite logo on the K9 unit vehicle(s). AKC Reunite’s contribution shall not exceed the lesser of 50% of the total cost or $5,000.
Your club should have already contacted the local police department prior to submitting the AKC Reunite application. An application for matching funds should be approved by AKC Reunite (contingent on the club raising the required funds) before you begin fundraising.
Request an application from Grant Administrator Tessa Johnson at 919-816-3980 or CSARF@akccar.org.
After the recipient police department’s application is approved, an effective and easy way to reach outside your club and connect with your local community is to create a donation page on GoFundMe. The GoFundMe link can be shared with local dog lovers in your area via email, social media platforms and public events. Click here to view a sample GoFundMe page that can help you get started. The more detail you can share about how a police K-9 will benefit your community, the better!
After your club has raised the total amount needed for the new police K-9, club members can donate the total amount directly to the local police department.
When your police department’s new K-9 officer is on his or her way to your town, we encourage you to schedule a community presentation involving your club members and the police department to publicize the donation and the work your club has done to help keep the K-9 units healthy and strong in your state. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we can help you reach out to local media and government officials to invite them to the presentation so they can learn more about your club’s good works.