FERGUSON, Mo. — Two veterinarians have started a fundraising drive to fit the damaged canines of a Ferguson police dog with titanium crowns.

Dr. Dan Wentz and his wife Dr. Julie Wentz started an online donation drive to cover the cost of the crowns for Anak, a black German shepherd, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2cmxc3I ). The online drive is also expected to raise money to pay for the veterinary needs of the Ferguson Police Department’s three other dogs.

Wentz noticed 6-year-old Anak’s bottom canines looked thin, which was a potentially career-ending injury. Replacing his teeth would cost $1,700.

Wentz says he wants to make sure he’s doing all he can to help keep the police dogs working.

“Two years ago, I never would have considered doing this in Ferguson,” Wentz said. “But given all that’s happened, the tax increases and the drop in the (police) force, I want to make sure we are doing what we can to help keep these dogs on the street.”

Ferguson’s police force has dwindled from 53 to 36 officers after the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, in 2014 by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Voters in Ferguson passed two tax referendums and are handling the costs of meeting demands in a federal consent decree over police and municipal court practices.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com