OROVILLE, Calif. -- For the first time, the Butte County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit is kicking off its fundraising program.
The unit retired two patrol K-9's this year and expects to retire two more next year. Raising money helps the unit get ahead and fill the vacancies.
When Deputy Sheriff Vicente Arredondo heads to work, his partner, K-9 Chico, is right behind him, ready to go.
"When I get to a call, then he'll jump up, start barking, making himself known he's with me," said Deputy Sheriff Vicente Arredondo.
The Butte County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit retired two of its dogs this year. K-9 Chico is the latest addition to the family.
"And we're anticipating two more retiring within the next year, which would leave us with four vacancies on patrol," said Deputy Sheriff Tyler Hardwick.
With all of the K-9's leaving, the unit decided to start its own independent fundraiser this year.
"We want to begin now and start fundraising so we can have the money available to get dogs as they retire," Hardwick said.
Money being raised for the K-9 unit isn't just going towards the dogs, it's also going towards supplies and dog toys.
The unit just finished raising $15,000 for K-9 Chico.
"If it can save a partner, save somebody's life, that's where it'd be appropriate to use them. To have them go first and try to look for the bad guy," Arredondo said.
Now they're raising another $15,000 for Deputy Hardwick's K-9. For the new partners, Deputy Arredondo and K-9 Chico, the training never stops.
"It's been a challenge, it's been fun. It's been interesting to have somebody there," Arredondo said.
Deputy Hardwick said he hopes he can raise enough money to get a new K-9 before the end of this year.
Donations can be sent via checks to the Butte County Sheriff's Mounted Posse, with Sheriff's K-9 Unit in the memo section.
The checks should be mailed to:
Butte County Sheriff's Mounted Possee
P.O Box 903
Chico, CA 95927