K-9 Program

The Arroyo Grande Police Department began its K-9 program in 1985. In the ensuing twenty-five years there have been six police service dogs used by the Department, with two police service dogs and their officer handlers currently deployed in the patrol force.

Capitalizing on their keen sense of smell and discipline, these highly trained police service dogs assist in searching for, locating, and apprehending suspects while minimizing the potential danger to officers and our community. Both police service dogs are trained in suspect tracking and handler protection to provide critical tools for the Police Department.

Using the K-9’s to augment our patrol officers; they essentially serve as force multipliers. Arroyo Grande Police service dogs have been instrumental in the capture of robbery suspects and violent offenders, searches for suspects, and seizure of illegal narcotics for other law enforcement agencies in the South County.  Our patrol K-9s are also frequently used on burglar alarm calls for local residences and businesses, saving time for our patrol staff and helping ensure their safety and safety of the public.

Through their involvement in public events, school demonstrations and other local presentations, these police service dogs are also a highly visible means to build and support more positive relations with the community.

Although the Arroyo Grande Police Department police service dogs are available to assist other law enforcement and school district personnel throughout San Luis Obispo County, they are primarily used in Arroyo Grande and the other South County communities.

Senior Officer Zak Ayala has had “K-9 Daghan” as his patrol partner since 2011.

Officer Jeff Corral has had “K-9 Tig” as his patrol partner since 2017.

“K-9 Daghan is a dual purpose K-9; meaning he is certified for patrol and drug detection with the California Narcotic Canine Association. “K-9 Daghan” is a male German Shepherd Dog born in the Czech Republic.  "Daghan" is sable in color. Being cross-trained in narcotics detection, makes K-9 Daghan a significant asset in reducing the narcotics sales and use that threaten the safety of our community and particularly endanger our youth. At the request of the Lucia Mar Unified School District, our police service dogs have been used to conduct regular sweeps for illegal narcotics on the Arroyo Grande High School and Paulding Middle School campuses.

K-9 Tig is currently certified as a patrol K-9 with the California Narcotic Canine Association, but is anticipated to begin training in explosive detection soon.  K-9 Tig is a male German Shepherd Dog, sable in color. With the anticipated completion of K-9 Tig’s explosive detection training, he will be certified to assist local agencies in detecting explosives. This skill is invaluable for special events in order to further help ensure the safety of the public. K-9 Tig will be the only explosive detection K-9 in the south county. Currently there are explosive detection K-9’s assigned to Hearst Castle State Park. 

The cost of each selectively bred police service dog is approximately $8,500, while the initial and essential ongoing intensive training in search, protection and narcotics or explosive detection, handling equipment and kennel represent substantial additional costs that continue every year the dog is in service. Each dog and its officer handler represent a serious commitment to providing the most disciplined and professional level of service. The Police Department strongly believes that if a police service dog can find one dangerous criminal threatening our community, locate one lost child, help keep illegal narcotics and explosives out of our community , that police service dog is well worth the expense.

The purchase and training of these valuable police service dogs could not have been accomplished without considerable financial support from individuals and businesses in the community. Even with all the generosity of the community, the Police Department needs additional funds to support the K-9 program and the ongoing essential training for the dogs. The Police Department is inviting you to become involved in a partnership with us in supporting the K-9 program. If you are interested in contributing to the K-9 program, you may make a contribution to the K-9 Fund at the Arroyo Grande Police Department at 200 N. Halcyon Road. 
If you would like additional information regarding the K-9 program, please contact the Patrol Services Commander at 805-473-5110.