- Acquisition of the canine
- Fees associated with training by Maine Specialty Dogs
- Room and board plus most meals during training
- Certification and evaluation by a chemist with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy
- Transportation costs to attend training class in Maine
Departments will need to cover the handlers’ salary while they are at training.
Following the initial training class, the arson dog teams’ department or agency will be responsible for the K-9’s care and expenses. This includes but is not limited to veterinarian care, food, yearly recertification at one of the sites designated by Maine Specialty Dogs and general care for the K-9. State Farm does not provide funding for veterinary services. Your department must be willing to cover those annual expenses to be eligible for the program.
Costs associated with the maintenance of an arson dog team range considerably and an estimate is not available.
We train 10 teams each year – 5 teams in the spring (April-May) and 5 teams in the fall (August-September).
Handlers will be in Maine for 4 weeks with no weekends off.
In order to remain compliant and accredited through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, each handler and K-9 must complete one recertification class each year. There are typically three recertification classes held in several locations across the country each year. We try to keep these recertification classes regionally located and within driving distance for most arson dog teams. The recertification classes are 2 ½ days long.
The annual recertification class is at the expense of the handlers’ department. Recertification costs include travel to and from the recertification location, hotel, meals, and the chemist test ($80 – $100).
State Farm and Maine Specialty Dogs does not decide or require departments to investigate fires outside of their jurisdiction area. It is up to individual departments on how and where to use the dog and handler. Some teams only work within city limits while other teams will investigate throughout multiple counties or even an entire state.
No. Teams are not required to only work State Farm fires. The arson dog team will work any and all fires regardless who the insurer for the property is.
It is very rare that we will utilize a dog that is provided by the handler. All of the canines in our program must be tested to ensure they have the right qualities and drive to serve as an accelerant detection dog. After evaluating dogs for our program, the trainers will then take the dog for several months and begin imprint work to prepare the dog before working with the human handler.
No. A five year commitment to the program is made between Maine Specialty Dogs and the supporting department/agency of the arson dog team.