Animal Heroes

Animal Heroes: Officers On 4 Legs

K-9 Units

The First Responders Foundation assists with K-9 Units in Nebraska and Iowa. Your donations will help support training for K-9 Officers and Canines, and will assist with care for retired canine officers.
Officers on 4 Legs - Kobus
K-9’s are specially trained dogs that work and live with law enforcement officers.

K-9’s assist first responders by helping:

  • Search for dangerous criminals
  • Help find missing persons
  • Search for illegal drugs
  • Detect hidden contraband
  • Protect officers exposure to life threatening situations
  • Deter criminal activity
K9
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K-9s training is intense:

  • At 14-24 months old, dogs with basic obedience training are ready to join the force
  • Dogs are trained for 3-4 months, 5 days a week, to teach them patrol work and narcotics detection.
  • The dogs are then required to pass a mandatory state police dog certification.
  • Training continues at least once a week throughout a dog’s career and they must pass a yearly certification.
  • K-9 Officers must learn new techniques for working with canines, including dog psychology, canine case law, and emergency medical treatment for canines.

Meet Alley the Arson Dog

Alley the Arson DogThe Omaha Fire Department has a special firefighter on 4 legs, Alley, the Arson Dog. The First Responders Foundation is honored to have a fund that helps provide for Alley’s training and care. The fund supports Alley’s training, training aids and certificates, her veterinary care and food. Your donation is one great way to show your support for Alley and the program.

Arson Dogs help keep our community and firefighters safe. As accelerant sniffers, they are able to detect even minute amounts of accelerants used to start fires. That helps fire investigators determine if a person caused the fire with intent to harm. Arson dogs work with investigators to find the best places to pull sample materials for lab testing. Their nose knows!

Arson Dogs help keep our community and firefighters safe.

  • Dogs’ sense of smell is approximately 40 times greater than humans. When trained as accelerant sniffers, they are able to detect even minute amounts of accelerants used to start fires.
  • Help fire investigators determine if a person caused the fire with intent to harm.
  • Arson dogs work with investigators to find the best places to pull sample materials for lab testing.
  • Help increase conviction rates of arsonists
  • Help decrease arson fires
  • Help educate the public on the importance of fire safety.

These dogs can also pave the way for a significant decrease in arson fires, in some cases up to 50% by helping to increase conviction rates and deter arsonists.

Alley lives and works with her handler, Omaha Fire Investigator David Sobotka. Alley is food motivated, meaning she “works” or trains every day in order to be fed. Her “work” keeps her sharp and ready for whenever she is needed for fire investigations.

Last year there were 331 total fire-related investigations, and 66 were classified as arson.

Mounted Patrol

Mounted PatrolThe First Responders Foundation helps fund the purchase of horses for Mounted Patrol and assists with necessary equipment. Your donation will help purchase and support Mounted Patrol Units.

What Mounted Patrol Horses Do:

  • Regular patrol
  • Citizen contacts
  • Traffic and crowd control
  • Search and rescue
  • Parking enforcement
  • Parades
  • Formal events

Mounted Patrol horses give law enforcement a new “perspective” in crowd control by offering added height and visibility. The horses allow the officers to observe a wider area and allow people in the area to see the officers. This helps people find officers when needed and helps deter crime.

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Mounted Patrol
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Your donation to animal heroes directly supports Officers on 4 Legs and their first responder handlers.

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K-9 Units are Extremely Useful for Law Enforcement and Protecting the Community

For example, the Omaha Police Department has 11 Teams of K-9’s and officer handlers; 7 dual purpose Police Service Dog Teams, 2 Narcotic Detection Dog Teams and 2 Interdiction Dog Teams. Last year the K-9 Teams assisted with:

Average Annual Cost of Care for One Canine: $1500

Equipment: bite suits, bite sleeves, agitation muzzles, concealed bite sleeves, leashes, patrol harnesses, narcotics for training (obtained with a court order after arrests and drug cases are adjudicated), and tennis balls and other toys for rewards

Grooming: flea and tick treatment, shampoo, and special “fur saver” collars

Average Annual Cost of Care for One Horse: $1,800

Mounted Patrol Equipment: Saddle, Saddle pads, Irons, Bridle, Bit and reins, Horseshoes, Training toys.

During specific assignments horse may be equipped in riot gear with their own masks and shin guards.

 

Training for Mounted Patrol

Training varies widely and depends on the horse's background and experience. There is no specific breed requirement. Finding the right horse for mounted patrol can be difficult and includes traits such as age, usually 6-10 years old, overall health, and intelligence. Once selected the average horse can be trained and ready for service within one year, however training is a continuous focus.