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Increasing Their Ranks

Increasing Their RanksThe Boston Police Department expects to get a second much-needed bomb-sniffing dog, thanks to a donation from Tufts Animal Expo.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.26.01] There have been hundreds of calls for the Boston Police Department's K-9 unit since September, covering everything from bomb threats to anthrax scares. And with only one active bomb-sniffing dog in the city, the team has been stretched thin. But relief is expected soon, thanks to a donation from Tufts Animal Expo officials, which will likely bring a second, much-needed search and rescue dog to Boston.

"The Tufts Animal Expo, an annual show sponsored by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, has offered to donate $5,000 to the department's canine unit, to honor the search and rescue dogs who worked in the rubble of the Twin Towers," reported the Boston Globe.

The Veterinary School's dean, Phil Kosch, presented the check to the Boston Police Department -- along with a second $5,000 donation to Massachusetts-based Federal Emergency Management Agency canine rescue team -- during the October event.

Last week, the Boston City Council's Public Safety Committee recommended that the Tufts donation be accepted for a new bomb-sniffing dog.

The full City Council is expected to pass the measure this week, reported the Globe.

For the Boston Police Department, an extra dog couldn't come at a better time.

"In the month after Sept. 11, our bomb squads were very, very, very busy," police department spokeswoman Mariellen Burns told the Globe. "They got hundreds of calls and they've been assisting with many anthrax calls."

The increased need, she said, makes getting an addition dog a high priority. The department would like to add several new dogs in the near future.

"It's a process of getting the funds approved, and looking to see it's done in the most cost-effective way," she told the Globe.

Thanks to Tufts' Animal Expo, the department is well on its way to meeting its goal. And that is exactly what Kosch and the other Tufts officials hoped to achieve.

"We felt it was our opportunity and our duty to dedicate the whole meeting to those animals and their handlers, as well as to do something tangible," Kosch told the Globe.

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