The group, River Valley Geospatial Information Systems Users (GIS) along with other community members has created a fundraiser to help provide Sebastian County K-9's with tracking collars.
"We wanted to be proactive and prove a GPS-enabled collar to service dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs in Sebastian County," veterinarian, Dr. John Remer said. "Our goal is to provide a collar for each of the service dogs and five years of service."
The group's main reason for wanting to provide local K-9's with GPS collars is to help prevent another K-9 officer from ever going missing again.
"Some dogs are very important life-saving tools," Dr. Remer said. "Service dogs, be it a police dog, search and rescue, they are potential life-saving devices. They're tools, and we need to protect them as dearly as any other police officer."
The tracking devices only weight 1.3 ounces and are low-profile. They will help K-9 handlers locate their dogs immediately.
"[The handlers] can set up where they have geo-fences if that K-9 goes outside of that area at certain times, they are notified either by a text or an email," Sebastian County Search and Rescue cartographer, Shannon Scott said.
For Kina, the healing process has begun, and Dr. Remer said the GPS collar will ensure a similar search won't happen again.
"Being found more quickly is important medically, and psychologically, [Kina] has a long road to go," Dr. Remer said. "She was fired upon, she was injured. I know that she was in shock when she ran, so I think the physical healing will go more quickly than the mental."
The group said after the money is raised to purchase collars for every Sebastian County K-9, they will use additional money to do the same for surrounding counties' K-9 officers.
Donations to GPS Collars for K9's can be sent to:
P.O. Box 1673 Greenwood, AR 72936 (Make checks payable to RVGISUG with a memo: Collars for K9's)
or you can deposit donations at:
First National Bank (River Valley GIS Users Group account for GPS Collars for K9's)
If you want to help or for more information, you can visit the River Valley GIS Users website.