DENVER — The Colorado Parks & Wildlife K-9 Unit is made up of just three dogs. The team may be small, but the results are impressive.
The pilot program is fully funded by public support. The dogs have specific skills in assisting park rangers. They're trained to help officers locate animals, evidence, suspects, and protect the Wildlife Officers of Colorado.
Denver7 went along on a training session Barr Lake State Park with K-9 Cash and his handler, Brock McArdle. One of Cash's primary jobs is to sniff out endangered species.
"He’s using his nose to locate these animals so we can collect data on them to see how healthy they are," McArdle said. "It helps us count them to see how many there are."
Each of the three dogs on the team have one common ability: catching poachers.
"Cash actually found the remains of an animal along some aspen trees up in the mountains," McArdle said. "From there, I was able to connect the dots and actually talk to the hunters and get a full confession."
McArdle said the goal of the program is to bring in more dogs to help protect wildlife.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife has set up a GoFundMe account to keep the K-9 program running. The funds will support current and future training for the dogs. It includes cost of food, boarding, veterinary services, maintenance and training equipment.