Mars Petcare Donates Training Facility for K9 Officers
Mars Petcare teamed up with Fort Smith Police to build a new training facility for K9 officers.
Mars Petcare Manager Chris Haas said close to 60 employees rolled up their sleeves and built a new obstacle course for the police dogs which will help better train them for real-life situations.
“Over the last year we’ve worked closely with the police department,” said Haas. “It`s one of those things where we are giving back to the community. What better place to give back than to the men and women that are actually fighting for us every day out here in the city?”
Currently, Sgt. Brian Rice with Fort Smith Police trains police dogs at a smaller facility.
“It’s a larger obstacle course,” said Sgt. Rice. “We have a low crawl, we have one, two, three, four hurdles, a window jump, we have a broad jump. We now have an A-Frame and a catwalk.”
Three of the obstacles built will be new challenges for the dogs.
“It’s going to be fun teaching them how to do it,” said Sgt. Rice.
The police dogs range in both age and experience but each dog is required to have vigorous training each week.
“We’re required to do four hours of training each week, with each dog,” Sgt. Rice explained. “We have four dogs, so that’s sixteen hours a week spent training. So with this facility, it’s going to benefit us greatly.”
Work on the obstacle course wrapped up Wednesday afternoon.
Mars Petcare will have a ribbon cutting for the new facility Thursday morning. Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders is expected to attend, along with all four of the Fort Smith police dogs and their officers.
The ribbon cutting will be held Thursday morning around 10 at the Mars facility near Chaffee Crossing.