RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four puppies born to a dog seized by animal control officials are now on track for a shot at joining the Richmond police department.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the four Belgian Malinois puppies are being raised in a collaborative effort between the police department and Richmond Animal Care and Control.

Once they get older, experts will identify whether they would make a good fit for the K-9 unit. For now, the dogs are being introduced to basic tugging skills and other tasks.

Sgt. Stuart Hannah says the partnership could help save the department money. He says if the department goes through a vendor, each dog can cost $5,000 to $7,000.