Nonprofit Invests in Parks and Wildlife Canine Program

August 9, 2016
Phillip Gurule of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with the department's K9, Sci.Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Phillip Gurule of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with the department's K9, Sci.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife's canine officer, Sci, will soon be getting a protective vest thanks to a donation.

The vest will come from nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s. District Wildlife Manager, Phillip Gurule, directs the new canine program and is based in Colorado Springs. He says protection is necessary for his dutch shepard since they often work in remote areas far from help.

"This vest is important so I can keep my canine safe," he said.  "He's doing his job by keeping me safe, by helping me protect the wildlife resources of Colorado. This vest is really important to keep him safe from suspects who want to elude or assault my canine."

Each vest can cost more than $1700, and protects dogs from dangers including bullets and stabbings.

Sci is trained to search for evidence of poaching, to protect Parks and Wildlife officers, and eventually to help find specimens of endangered species like the Boreal Toad, among other things. Gurule says he hopes to expand the Parks and Wildlife canine program, which is currently in its pilot phase.