The Soap Lake Police Department is giving its K9 Billy back to the company they originally received him from after Billy's handler left the department.

Chief Ryan Cox said he no longer has any employees that can take on Billy's responsibilities, with the majority of available officers simply not experienced enough.

"If you try and take on a specialty too early, you could very easily burn out and you might not make a very good K9 team. The dog is not very good at their job and you're not very good at your job and you start making mistakes," said Cox.

Billy, the department's lone K9, will now head back to Vohn Liche Kennels to get repurposed to another agency. Cox had searched for another law enforcement agency to send Billy, but even when he expanded his search nationwide he couldn't find anyone to take Billy as a donation.

According to Cox, K9 handler training alone takes over 400 hours and costs $7,500 for schooling.

The Soap Lake Police Department has received several donations for its K9 program since it began three years ago. The department has raised funds for Billy's training, accepted a $60,000 grant for a K9 vehicle, and was gifted a bullet and stab protective vest.

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