Effingham County Sheriff's Office seeking donations for new K9s - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Effingham County Sheriff's Office seeking donations for new K9s

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

They have a lot of hair, four legs and the Effingham County Sheriff's Office is in need of two of them.

The sheriff's office is asking for community donations to help pay for the cost of two new k9 dogs and everything that comes with it.

It is very rare for the sheriff to ask the community for something like bit, but in this case, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said the sheriff's office has always don't things this way. As long as he has been there, community donations have always paid for the K9s and said it is a need that can't be ignored.

"Not having one pretty much cripples you because you have to wait for someone from another county," McDuffie said.

It's a plea from the sheriff's office, one that helps keep citizens safe. McDuffie said the sheriff's office needs to get two new K9s and all the equipment that comes with it, including the training and the cages in the new cars. The price tag? About $35,000.

"We probably used the dog every single day of the week when we had two or three of them," said McDuffie.

But they don't have two or three anymore. They barely have one. K9 A.J. retired in December, and K9 Duke is the only one left, and he is not in perfect health.

"His back legs are starting to fail him," said Cpl. Jamie Thompson.

K9 Duke is older with multiple surgeries and torn tendons. He cannot perform like he used to. This is where the public comes in.

"Ever since I have been here, all of our K9s have been bought with outside money," McDuffie said. "No tax dollars, they have all been donations."

Several people have asked why the county commission won't give the sheriff's office the money.

"We have never asked the commission for money to buy K9s," McDuffie said.

When asked about the money the sheriff's office gets from speeding tickets and drug busts, McDuffie answered, "Speeding tickets, that goes to the general fund of the county. That is budget money there. The drug money, we do not get nearly enough money to purchase these dogs with that."

Cpl. Thompson is in charge of the K9 unit.

"The [dogs] we have had in the past are dual purpose, so they are trained in apprehension, handler protection and tracking," Thompson said.

Thompson promises these new dogs will do the same.

"It helps us out, and helps the community," said McDuffie.

McDuffie said the biggest need for these dogs is finding drugs. K9s can do that much faster than several deputies put together.

If you would like to donate, you can either visit the sheriff's office or mail your donation to 130 W. 1st Street, Springfield, GA 31329, or you can even call 912.754.3449 and a deputy will come by and pick it up.

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