NORTH ADAMS — Thanks to helpful students at McCann Tech, Kumar has a new home.
Kumar the statue, that is.
The statue is a life-size wooden replica of the friendly police dog who has quickly made a name for himself as the town's K-9 unit in his nearly two years of service.
The impressively accurate sculpture of Kumar was donated to his handler, Officer Curtis Crane, by the folks at Berkshire Carousel, who know a thing or two about sculpting life-like creatures.
In an effort to raise money to continue the K-9 program in Adams, Crane and the Adams Police Department auctioned the wooden statue in November. A winning bid of $1,500 was put together by a group of residents, who donated the sculpture back to the town so it can be displayed at Town Hall.
In an effort to ensure the statue was protected, Crane reached out to Thomas Tinney, a computer-assisted drafting teacher at McCann, to enlist students to design a protective case. They partnered with carpentry teacher Patrick Ryan's students to put together the finished product, which was even better than Crane expected.
Although fully enclosed and protective of the statue, the case appears to be a dog house. The entire project took about eight weeks, according to Tinney, who donned a protective sleeve that Kumar clamped down on during a demonstration on Thursday.
Kumar joined the Adams force in 2014 with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation, which provides funding to maintain the dog for the first three years.
"We aren't officially out of money but we are preparing," Crane said.
With the town's budget being so tight, police decided to raise the necessary funds to keep Kumar onboard. Crane estimates that it costs about $1,500 annually to pay routine veterinarian bills and feed Kumar, who lives at home with the officer. But that doesn't include any potential major health issues down the road.
Chief Richard Tarsa said that Kumar, who is trained to search for drugs, people and other items, has frequently responded to calls both in and outside of Adams since he was brought on.
Kumar the statue's new case includes a deposit box for donations so that his participation with the department can be funded for years to come.
"After that, the costs come upon the department and the community," Tarsa said. "This will help offset some of the cost."
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.