ABILENE, Texas - In the field, a canine is a police officer's trusted partner.
On Saturday, the Abilene Police K-9 unit partnered with "Pawsitive Pet Training and Services, LLC" at the Abilene Gun Range to raise funds for a new tactical bite suit to enhance training with their dogs.
K-9 officers run weekly challenges with their dogs to prepare for fighting crime. During the challenges, they are required to wear a 35-pound bite suit.
"The bite suits we don't allow us much opportunity to control the situation as a person on the street would have the opportunity to," Abilene K-9 Officer Jody Peavy said. "The more streamline and tactical bite suit we're trying to purchase and raise money for will allow the decoy a little bit more maneuverability and the ability to control the hiss movements."
Officer Peavy could not put on the pants or take it off on his own, because the suit is so heavy.
"The last thing you want to do is get into a serious incident where you're chasing a guy with a gun and he turns around and starts shooting at you and you're dog has not been trained well enough to perform that aspect," Abilene K-9 Officer Kevin Pyeatt said.
The new suits will help with training and also improve the relationship between the officer and dog.
"I didn't think it would be that emotional (with) the dog, but they do become members of the family," Officer Peavy said. "You get very emotionally attached. It's like bringing one of your children to work with you. It's very fun, very fun and very challenging as well."
The bite suit costs about $1400. The K-9 Unit raised $781.37 at the gun range fundraiser.
To give a donation, the Abilene Gun Range will continue to accept money in c/o: the Abilene Police Department Association.
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