July 13, 2009
Five police service dogs and their warden handlers will
graduate from the Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) K-9 Academy
July 17 in Riverside County. Following the commencement, DFG will
have twenty K-9 teams deployed in counties throughout the state to
help stop poaching and other criminal activities that harm
California's diverse habitats, species, and resources.
“From finding expended ammunition casings to abalone, fish,
deer and suspects, these K-9 teams have added a new dimension to
our efforts to enforce the law and protect our state's natural
resources,” said DFG Law Enforcement Chief Nancy Foley.
The teams have been trained to detect scents including bear,
deer, lobster, abalone and firearms. Additionally, all DFG dogs
are trained to search vessels for Quagga and Zebra mussels, the
small invasive fresh water mussels that could seriously threaten
California's environment and economy.
DFG police service dogs are also trained to locate people,
protect officers and apprehend suspects, making them especially
useful in rural patrol areas where wardens may have no backup.
The new teams add patrol coverage to Del Norte, Siskiyou,
Humboldt, Trinity, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Riverside, San
Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles counties, in addition to the
other 35 counties where wardens already have K-9 support.
This is the fourth K-9 academy that DFG has operated since
January 2008 and the first to be completed in Southern California.
DFG's K-9 Program is funded largely through private donations;
organizations, agencies and individuals can sponsor or donate
funds to support a K-9 unit. All donations are tax deductible. For
more information, please visit