CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and K9 Avery. Photo courtesy of CSULB.
Cal State University Long Beach campus police recently welcomed Avery, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, to the team as its first ever detection dog.
Her addition was made possible by an anonymous donation, however, more funds are needed to maintain her care which is why CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and her team have set up a BeachFunder account for Avery with a goal of $5,000.
“There are ongoing costs—training and some of the gear Avery has and none of that is cheap,” Conoley said. “It’s all specialized. Then there are the veterinarian bills and food.”
President Conoley described the value Avery brings is to both the campus and community, and that annual funding for her constant care and continued training is necessary. CSULB plans to fundraise at least $5,000 each calendar year, although it will not completely cover Avery’s needs, it will assist in covering her costs, officials said.
According to Avery’s handler, University Police Lt. Rick Goodwin, it took about four months of training to earn her police badge. However, she will continue her highly technical training to be kept up to date.
“When she finds something that’s suspicious, she sits down,” Goodwin said. “In her work environment, she’s completely focused. Notice her vest… the goal of training is that when the vest is on, it’s all business. When the vest is off, Avery will know ‘I can play with these students.’ It’s another cue to learning.”
In addition to her primary police duties, Avery will be on the college campus throughout the year as a goodwill ambassador. Avery will attend events on campus as well as visit student groups and housing, in efforts to assure students that she is there to offer another level of protection for them.
“Safety is the primary thing, but it’s also a morale booster. Students love dogs,” Conoley said.
CSULB is the sixth CSU campus to acquire a detection dog. Avery is assigned the task of sniffing explosives only.
For more information on funding for Avery, please visit the website.