RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Richmond Heights Police Department wants to add a new member to their department but they need help.
The small police department kicked off a K-9 fundraising campaign. The department is trying to raise $60,000.
Richmond Heights has been without a police dog since 2013, when their last one retired. The dog will be used for community policing, and drug and people searches, police said.
There are several nursing homes, assisted living facilities and a hospital in Richmond Heights.
“When people walk away it’s much easier to find them with a search K-9,” said Lt. Denise DeBiase.
Kelli Coleman owns K-9 Kingdom and is one of the businesses that donated to the fund.
“Not only am I a dog lover, the K-9 unit with the police department is an important tool for the everyday service they provide,” said Coleman.
So far, residents and businesses have donated about $4,000.
“Hillcrest Animal Hospital across the street here has offered to take care of the services for the dog,” said Officer Jonathan Ross. PetSmart, he said, is donating the food.
It will cost about $15,000 for the dog and training, roughly $40,000 for a patrol car and another $10,000 to have it outfitted specifically for the dog, police said.
“We don’t have that in our budget right now,” said DeBiase.
Donations have come in from as far away as South Carolina.
A little girl in Pittsburgh started Peyton’s K9s. In July, all the proceeds from items sold on her website will go to the Richmond Heights K-9 fundraising campaign.
The department is looking into getting a GoFundMe page as well.
If you would like to help, mail or drop off a check or cash to the Richmond Heights Police Department marked K-9 Fundraiser.