Newport News donates police dog to Franklin

Published 9:15 am Friday, December 17, 2010

FRANKLIN—Thanks to the city of Newport News, the Franklin Police Department has a new police dog.

The City Council on Monday voted to accept a 2-year-old bloodhound named Red as a gift from Newport News. Police Chief Phil Hardison said the dog would be used to track suspects, missing children, Alzheimer’s patients, those with autism or other significant impairments.

Newport News offered the dog to Franklin because the city doesn’t have anyone to handle Red.

“There’s nothing wrong with the dog. He has been fully vetted by their vets,” Hardison said. “He is a result of the working relationship between our agency and the city of Newport News.”

Hardison said accepting the dog won’t cost the department a lot of money and it would be covered by the budget.

Master Police Officer Holly McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Newport News Police Department, said an untrained bloodhound puppy is estimated to cost between $800 and $1,000. She said Red had some training, but the two police departments would coordinate for further training.

Hardison said the tracking dog would allow the city to expedite its search capability, “which quite often comes at a cost of life or death potentially.”