The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Helping Our Local K-9 Heroes

Helping Our Local K-9 Heroes

The Spokane Police Department’s K-9 Unit is highly trained to fight crime and help keep our city safe. When highly trained canines used in police work are prematurely retired due to health issues, it costs the department extra resources and manpower to get new canines up to speed. German shepherds and Belgian malinois, two of the most popular breeds used for tracking, suspect apprehension, building and vehicle searches, as well as search and rescue, can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even if the dog comes with a financial or replacement-dog guarantee, the weeks of specialized and intense training with officers represent an un-recoupable monetary loss in man-hours.

To that end, Paw Print Genetics recently collaborated with our hometown police force, the Spokane Police Department, and their K-9 Unit to genetically screen the six dogs patrolling our streets. While none of the hardworking dogs have displayed any sort of symptom related to genetic disease, the information gathered from the screening will give the department a baseline reading of each dog’s genetic health, which could be useful in future health screenings, any medical issues and treatments.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the Spokane Police Department conducts a small breeding and puppy program. They match their working dogs with local dogs that display similar conformation, drives and abilities to produce puppies for future work within the department or for sale to other departments. With this one-time genetic screening, the department can make better-informed decisions on future breeding pairs for each of their working dogs. This will help produce healthier puppies free of known genetic disorders for each breed, greatly reducing the chances of spending time and money on a dog that will later develop a debilitating disease.

Paw Print Genetics is happy to provide this service to the Spokane Police Department and hope our contribution to law enforcement will result in a safer community overall, will save taxpayers money in the long run and will help produce healthier working dogs both locally and across the country.