First Dog Program


As part of its ongoing mission to support positive human/dog relationships, the Stanton Foundation has identified K9 units as a priority area for support.

To increase the number of communities with K9 units, the Stanton Foundation is providing grants to support the creation of new K9 units in cities and towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and Maine. Grants are awarded in the amount of $32,000. This amount  will cover costs including purchasing the dog, training costs, kennel facilities at the officer’s home, retrofitting a cruiser for the exclusive use of the K9 unit, and food and veterinary care for the first three years. A full model budget is available under the Resources tab. 

Grant recipients will also be eligible to receive reimbursement of $1,100 per week for every week (up to 14 weeks) of patrol school that the handler is unavailable for normal duties. This reimbursement is granted in full upon confirmation that the handler and dog have successfully been certified at the end of patrol training. Similarly, once a dog and handler have completed a specialty certification, grant recipients are eligible to be reimbursed $4,500 pending confirmation the unit has been certified.

The Foundation’s police K9 program is a non-competitive grant program. The Stanton Foundation will award grants to any eligible department that successfully completes the application process and commits to maintaining the K9 unit for a minimum of five years.  Departments must not have had an active K9 unit for the past 5 years to be eligible. Departments must be willing to train at one of six Foundation-approved training sites to be eligible (Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Canine Academy, Maine State Police, Hillsboro Police Department, or the Rhode Island K9 Academy).

The Foundation believes that K9 units are force multipliers for local police departments and provide numerous benefits to local and surrounding communities. Any police department that shares this view of K9 units and is willing to commit to the process is encouraged to submit an application. The Stanton Foundation will support your effort.