To serve and protect the people of our beautiful city of San Antonio is what the San Antonio Police Department is tasked with. The men and women of SAPD put their lives on the line every day when they put on their uniform, responding to all sorts of emergencies. What’s easy to forget though is that not all of those who sacrifice to serve are even human at all! Police trained dogs or K9s are considered to be police officers as well, with all of the honors associated with owning a badge. The level of attention given K9s is what makes their loyalty so strong with their human partners. As you can imagine; however, the cost associated with breeding, buying, raising, and training these gifted dogs is a time-intensive endeavor that also requires a substantial monetary investment.
A department in the market for purchasing a K9 from a quality breeder can expect to pay nearly $8,000-$10,000 upfront. These aren’t adults, but just puppies! The reason the cost is so high is because like any other highly selected breed, K9 puppies have been bred specifically to enhance the positive traits that will lead to success out in the field and in training. Once the puppies are purchased, they are typically raised until a certain age by family members or even the officer with which the dog is to eventually be paired with. Police departments also let regular citizens help out by letting them raise the dog through puppyhood as part of awareness and outreach dog boarding programs.
When it comes time for the K9 to start training there are even more substantial costs. So on average, how much does training and equipment cost for a typical K9?
$2K-$3k for the initial training
$3k-$6k added salary compensation
$5k-$10K+ to outfit a new car with the cage
$1k-$2k for food, treats, bedding, kennel per year
$1k-$2k for vet bills
$1k-$2k for annual certification
$1k-$2k for training aids: narcotics or explosives
Woah! As you can see, it costs just a as much if not more to train and equip as it does to purchase the dog. In total, it typically costs $20,000 for every K9 to enter the force. It takes a lot of time, effort, patience, food, dog boarding, and training to get the dogs where they need to be, but it’s worth it. K9s have proven to be invaluable, loyal partners that will put their lives on the line for their fellow boys in blue. Here’s to you k9s, thanks for all you do to keep San Antonio safe!