The Tulare County Sheriff's Department's K9 unit has been running on donations since it's inception. The dogs put in at least 6 years before they're replaced and it isn't cheap.
After training, each K9 costs about $14,000. Something the sheriff's department can't afford on it's own.
Lieutenant Chris Wenzinger said, "if we didn't have the public's support we wouldn't have a k9 unit."
Deputy Doug Burch's K9 "Kayo" is named after Kayo Farms. The company payed for him six and a half years ago but now he's ready to retire. "Next week is his last week of work and then he'll be a house dog," Burch added.
Deputy Jerry Hunziger's K9, "Harley" is also on his way out. He's named after the motorcycle company that picked up the tab. "If the donations didn't come in... I'd never of had a partner like this... back up like this is incredible to have."
Over the past few years, donations have been few and far between. But luckily, a group of farmers came to the rescue with $15,000. It's enough to replace Kayo.
"Too dig down deep, especially now when people are hurting' and the economy's been bad," Wenzinger added, "They're stepping up and making sure these resources are available."
Kayo and Harley have a little less than two weeks left. Deputies hope to replace them both by January.
If you would like to help keep the K9 Unit running, you can visit Friends of Tulare County or you can send a check to the Tulare County Sheriff's Department for the K9 Unit.