Ben Roethlisberger Foundation awards grant to CPW to train new K-9 unit
Summit Daily staff report
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be adding a new certified K-9 to its pilot program thanks to a donation from Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Parks and wildlife already has two K-9 units enrolled in a pilot program to determine how dogs can be used in conjunction with their law enforcement and wildlife management efforts. In November, when the Steelers came to Denver to take on the Broncos, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation awarded a $12,000 grant to CPW to train a new K-9.
“We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units,” said Roethlisberger in a statement. “The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible. We’re just thrilled to do our small part.”
Last week CPW began training Samson, an 18-month old Belgian Malinois, to become a certified law enforcement K-9. Once finished, Samson will team up with wildlife officer Ian Petkash of the Lake George District. In addition to law enforcement detection work, Samson will also be trained to recognize the scents of nine different wildlife species, and will be used in the negative reinforcement of bears and mountain lions that CPW relocates following conflicts with people.
“The K-9 will not only aid in the apprehension of those who seek to exploit wildlife, but will also be trained in canine-hard releases on bears and mountain lions that have come into contact with people,” said Petkash. “This non-lethal tool will serve to keep wildlife wild and keep people safe. Furthermore, the K-9 will serve as an ambassador for wildlife management to Colorado’s public. On Behalf of the wildlife and the people of Colorado, I want to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for providing this opportunity.”
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