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The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office needs your help to keep its K-9 program thriving.

Sheriff Gary Maha announced today that K-9 Pharoah, the office’s working German shepherd, will be retiring at the end of the year. 

K-9 Pharoah is 11 years old and has been working with Deputy Brian Thompson since November 2010. Deputy Thompson, the office’s K-9 officer for the past 13 years, will be relinquishing his K-9 duties at the end of the year as well.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has been able to maintain a K-9 team due to the support and donations from the public along with county funding. The Office says public support and donations are vital to the continuation of the program because it provides for food, veterinary services, training, equipment, and other K-9 related expenses.

The K-9 team is used for search-and-suspect apprehension, locating missing persons, contraband and drug searches, tactical tracking, evidence recovery, patrol, and more. 

The Sheriff’s Office will be selecting a new K-9 officer and will be searching for a new K-9. The cost for a police dog ranges from between $5,000 - $8,000 and a 15-week K-9 training course costs approximately $5,000. 

The Sheriff’s Office is initiating a public fundraiser to maintain a sustainable K-9 fund for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

To make a tax-deductible donation, send to the "Genesee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Fund," 165 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

For more information, Sheriff Gary Maha will be on WBTA's Main and Center program Thursday morning with all the details, or call confidential secretary Carolyn Della Penna at 345-3000 ext. 3510.

Undersheriff Bill Sheron says K-9 Pharoh will stay under the care of Deputy Thompson after the dog's retirement.

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