Medical issues affecting Hagerstown’s K-9 officer are making it necessary to replace him sooner than expected. Hagerstown Police Department is looking for donations.

The current K-9, Kolt, will have been in service about three years in September, Police Chief Keith Folkner said. The working life of a police dog is generally eight to 10 years, according to the National Police Dog Foundation.

Because of medical issues, Folkner expects Kolt will need to be retired within the next 18 months.

Reid Health Community Benefits, a charitable foundation, has donated $7,500 toward the expected $25,000 cost of a new police dog, Folkner said.

“That will serve as a down payment to get us in line for a new K-9,” Folkner said. It takes 12-18 months to locate and train a dog to serve as a police dog.

Other grants and donations are needed.

“The cost of a K-9 has really skyrocketed,” said Folkner, recalling that the department spent about $18,000 — much of it donated — to acquire Kolt.

Those wishing to contribute may send funds to Hagerstown Town Hall, 49 E. College St., Hagerstown IN 47346. Donations should be designated for the K-9 Donation Account.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 10 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.