Local group raising money for K-9 Narcan kits for police dogs as opioid dangers increase

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A citizens group is raising money to help protect police dogs from dangerous exposures to opioids.

Police work nowadays makes these specially trained canines susceptible to overdoses.

The dogs often are sent to investigate situations that are deemed too risky for humans.

And because they use their unique sense of smell to detect narcotics, canine units are more at risk for ingesting toxic levels of opioids such as Fentanyl. Police seized 1.5-million lethal doses of Fentanyl at a bus station just a few weeks ago.

That's why the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association is raising money to provide Narcan kits for more than a dozen Kansas City police dogs.

Narcan can reverse an overdose in an emergency situation.

"With the opioid epidemic, I’m sure you are all aware of the danger to the police officers and the police dogs has just gotten even greater because there’s those real potent opioids, like Fentanyl," said Jackie Cudahy, president of the group. "Now they can be inhaled by the dog or by the officer. If they are apprehending somebody or they are doing some kind of search, they can be exposed. It could potentially cause an overdose."

Right now, it's not in the police budget to provide Narcan for the dogs. The kits are expected to cost about $75 each, and on Monday anyone who visits Buffalo Wild Wings in Zona Rosa and mentions the fundraiser will have ten percent of their bill donated to the effort by the restaurant.

For animals who put their lives on the line in the interest of public safety, their handlers say they can be just as valuable lives as members of their own family.

You can also donate to the fundraiser by going to this website.