Originally created 01/04/06

Donation will help equip police dog team



When a local dog-training club disbanded recently, it gave law enforcement a bone.

After it liquidated its assets, the Aiken Dog Training Club gave $1,426 to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Sgt. David Turno, a spokesman for the department, said the money likely will be used for equipment for the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team.

"We like to spend donations on things that are hard to budget," Sgt. Turno said.

The Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team has eight dogs and 12 officers from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and the Aiken and North Augusta public safety departments.

The team typically receives a few thousand dollars a year in donations, Sgt. Turno said.

The three police agencies generally split expenses - dog food, fuel, uniforms and other equipment - but there usually is not enough money for items such as night-vision goggles.

Dog food alone costs about $160 every two months, Sgt. Turno said.

The dogs are called out an average of 175 to 200 times a year. They are kept at a training center in kennels maintained by the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the lead agency for the tracking team.

"We get money like this all throughout the year," Sgt. Turno said. "This is just the largest (amount) we've received."

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.