FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County sheriff is saving his dogs from the horrible conditions of their current k-9 training center. He has finally finished collecting the funding to build them a modern facility.
Sheriff Dave Gladieux calls the current K-9 training center ’embarrassing.’ The facility, which has been running for 40 years, is broken down, mice and spider-ridden, with only a single heater in the corner to keep them warm.
“It’s seen it’s better days,” he said. “It has no insulation in it. In the winter time, we have to outsource to private kennels to house the dogs because it’s too cold. The water freezes up out here. Once you take a look inside and see what we’re operating with right now, you’ll understand.”
Last week, county council agreed to give $650,000 to the project, which gives Gladieux enough money to begin construction. It will be built at the department’s training center on Adams Center Road.
The current facility is on the Byron Health Center campus. Other police departments in the region send their dogs to it to be trained.
“To be quite honest with you, this is kind of an embarrassing sight to come in from out of town to see what kind of academy we really have,” Gladieux said.
The new center will be an all-in-one facility with true indoor heating, a modern workout area and classroom and office spaces.
“I want to grow my program and get more dogs on the streets,” the Sheriff expressed.
County council unanimously approved the funding for the new k-9 center. Councilman at-large Justin Busch likes that illegal drug seizure money is helping to fund the project.
“Anytime we have the sheriff department out there busting drug dealers, busting bad guys and then take that money and actually use that to go out and fight crime as well is just a win-win for the people of Allen County,” he said.
Gladieux said they are finalizing designs for the new center. He hopes to break ground for the K-9 training center by summer and complete it by winter.