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K9 dogs facing dangers from narcotics

Posted at 1:56 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 15:17:07-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Amid the opioid crisis, there are now concerns for Kansas City's K9 Unit. 

As the dogs help officers arrest suspects and sniff out narcotics, there's a risk the dog could be exposed or even overdose. 

The Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association is raising money to buy at least 14 Narcan kits. Narcan is a nasal spray that lessens the effects of narcotics exposure in the time it takes to get medical attention. 

The kits come with two doses each and cost $75. 

"There's real potent opioids like Fentanyl now, and they can be inhaled by the dog if they're apprehending somebody or doing some kind of search," said Jackie Cudahy, president of the alumni association. 

A K9 dog in Kansas City has never overdosed on a narcotic, but they've found many dangerous drugs. 

The canine unit has 12 dogs, and the bomb and arson unit has two dogs. 

"They're parts of our family. They come home with us every night. They're around our wives and kids, so it'd be devastating to lose a part of your family," said Officer Joe Caponetto. 

Not only are these dogs like having a human partner, they are a real investment for KCPD.  

Each dog costs $10,000 - $15,000. The department buys them when they're around 2 years-old and retires them around 10 years-old. 

To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.