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Roethlisberger foundation donates money for Kittanning police dog

| Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

KITTANNING — Ben Roethlisberger is certainly scoring points here, and as a result the borough's police department may soon have a dog joining its ranks.

This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback announced that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will distribute eight grants totaling $66,382.17 to police departments in the region.

Kittanning Borough is one of the recipients, getting $10,000 to purchase a dual purpose K-9 police dog, said Kim Fox, borough councilwoman.

The borough applied for the grant last year in an effort to reduce drug traffic and related crimes in the borough.

A dual purpose K-9 is trained for patrol and narcotics detection.

“On behalf of Kittanning Police Department and Kittanning Borough Council, we would like to thank Ben Roethlisberger and everyone at the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for the generous donation to our new K-9 unit and for their continued support of law enforcement.”

She said it can cost between $8,000 and $12,000 for the dog, including training, and she is planning to check out a K-9 training facility near Harrisburg in the spring.

“My goal is to have a dog by the end of the year,” said Fox.

In the meantime, she said the borough is seeking donations for the necessary expenses associated with the K-9 unit. She said there will be ongoing fundraisers so that tax revenue will not be spent.

Fox said local donations of $4,000 have been received to help cover expenses such as veterinary bills, safety and training equipment and food.

She said she hopes area residents will get involved in the fundraising events and participate in the selection process for the dog's name.

“We want to make it a community effort,” said Fox.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can stop by the Kittanning Borough office, the police department, or call Kim Fox at 724-548-4465.

Since 2007, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has made 107 grants totaling more than $950,000 to 102 police and fire departments and five community youth organizations.

The 102 canine grants have funded the purchase of more than 66 dogs, the training of more than 28 dogs and 50 handlers, safety equipment for more than 52 dogs and training equipment for more than 31 dogs as well as food, vet services and housing.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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