Police and community dogs put on show in park

When Yudy, the Glendale Police Department's German shepherd, isn't chasing down criminals or sniffing out drugs, she is training to keep her skills sharp.

The 9 1/2-year-old dog and her handler, Officer Maribel Feeley, have been working and training together daily since the Glendale Police K-9 unit was established in 2005. Together, the pair have seized about $500,000 in drug money and arrested numerous criminals.

She and the unit's other police dogs, Idol and Branko, save officers “hours and hours of searching,” Feeley said.

The dogs, she said, have proven to be a valuable resource for the department to help fight crime as well as interact with the community.

Saturday they did just that, as Yudy and her fellow K-9s displayed their skills during live demonstrations at the fifth annual “Glendale K-9s in the Park” event at Verdugo Park.

The fundraiser draws between 5,000 and 8,000 dog-lovers annually. All proceeds go directly toward the unit's operation, since it is funded by donations only.

The Glendale Police Foundation collects donations to pay for new police dogs, basic and specialized training for the dogs, food, equipment and veterinarian services.

Purchasing and training for a new dog costs about $22,000. Maintaining the dog can add up to $4,250 each year.

While donations have been slightly down this year, the foundation is still able to fund the unit, said Nancy Michael, the group's event coordinator.

“We have a lot of community support,” she said.

Residents who attended the event were given a chance to enter their pets in a dog costume contest as well as participate in the speed test. Raymond Torosian didn't pass up the opportunity to test the top speed of Vanilla, his Havanese dog, which a volunteer clocked with a radar gun.

Vanilla reached 11 mph. A very hot dog, indeed.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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