City Market, PD join to add to K-9 unit

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While nicknamed "Fury," Craig police's new black-lab puppy is hardly an attack dog.

The youngster instead is the police department's first multi-purpose K-9 dog in the last two years -- a pooch that area school children are about to give their own name to.

Fury's anticipated second name is a closely guarded secret.

"We can't release that information," said Craig Police Administrative Sergeant

Bill Leonard.

The name -- to be announced during Fury's demonstration 10 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot of City Market -- will be selected among several suggestions entered by students from Craig Intermediate School.

Children active in the school's DARE program were asked to submit names, while the student submitting the winning suggestion will receive a prize, according to Craig police.

Thursday is billed as Fury's public debut. He's completed two months of training and is now serving alongside Craig Police Officer Alvin Luker.

Fury will fill several rolls left vacant by the departure of Craig police's last K-9 unit in 2001, Leonard said.

"It enhances our drug interdiction program," Leonard said. "He also has tracking abilities for missing persons or for suspects in crimes."

Fury arrived in Craig because of a partnership program run between Milk-Bone and City Market. The organizations give money to police departments specifically to purchase the dogs. Craig police received $5,000 to buy Fury.

The opportunity came about last summer, Leonard said.

"They had approached Steamboat Springs (P.D.) about it, and they rejected it," he said.

The police dog program is in its sixth year, according to Julia Yunker, with The Wilson Group, a marketing firm that works with Milk-Bone.

Yunker said between 85 and 100 dogs annually are funded for police departments and other community groups -- donations paid for by purchases of Milk-Bone products.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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