I hope more police departments take notice. Rescue dogs can become great detection dogs as Milwaukee Police Department’s new detection dog, Shaka, has proven! She is new to the force and has already proven how valuable she is. Great story…
A second leash on life
Milwaukee acquires new drug detection dog, Shaka, a pit bull who was saved from euthanasia
BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN
The Clackamas Review, Jun 22, 2011
Just five years ago, Shaka wasn’t content to wait on a New York pound’s death row, and her natural love of playing fetch caught the eye of a pit-bull advocate and catapulted her to eventual stardom among Milwaukee police as the force’s best new tool for tracking down drugs.
Officer Billy Wells is handler for Shaka, the Milwaukee Police Department's new drug detection dog.(RAYMOND RENDLEMAN / CLACKAMAS REVIEW)
Since her original owner abandoned her without a trace, no one is sure whether Shaka is five and a half or six years old. Shaka is not the only American Staffordshire Terrier-type pit bull who has demonstrated a tracking ability, but her skill is without peer nationally.
Out of the 20 times that Shaka has been deployed in her first few months at MPD, she’s found drugs in 18 cases. Officer Billy Wells certified Shaka through the Oregon Police Canine Association, based in Oregon City, but it might be more accurate to say that Shaka got her handler state certification in scoring 100 percent.
Newsday via YellowBrix
July 10, 2009
Talk about taking a bite out of crime.
When an ex-con suspected of a New Cassel robbery lunged at the Nassau County police officer questioning him earlier this week, the officer’s German shepherd, Thunder, had a fierce reaction involving his teeth and the suspect’s thigh, authorities said.
It wasn’t Thunder’s first, ahem, collar of the week.
Just about 24 hours earlier, Thunder led the way to a fleeing assailant suspected of slashing a man in the face. The suspect had eluded cops by hiding in a shed in Island Park, but he gave up without a fight – or a bite – when Thunder found him. McGruff would be proud.
That’s the kind of loyalty, bravery and restraint police canine units in Nassau and Suffolk look for when scouting for dogs tasked with searching for drugs, explosives, hidden suspects and more, say the cops who handle them.
“The suspect – he dictates if he’s getting bitten or not – not the cop, not the dog,” said Sgt. John Hill, the supervisor and trainer of Nassau’s canine unit.
Hill’s unit has nine dogs, all German shepherds who hail from Europe. The canine team patrols the county and monitors police radio frequencies for incidents where a police dog might be able to help. They also do VIP assignments: It was Hill’s canine unit that helped sweep Hofstra University for explosives before last year’s presidential debate.
By LAVINIA DeCASTRO • Courier-Post Staff
Sirius ran into the World Trade Center’s Tower 1 on Sept. 11, 2001, and never came out.
Grace searched for people in the ruins left behind by hurricanes Ike, Hannah and Gustav.
Gloucester Township Patrolman Mark Pickard shakes hands Saturday with Dave Hahn of Pitman. Hahn’s German shepherd, Schultz, was one of the guests of honor.
Elias apprehended a burglar inside a service station and helped keep $75,000 worth of drugs off the streets.
All three are service dogs.
All three were among the first 20 canines to be inducted in the area’s first wall of fame dedicated to service dogs during a ceremony on Saturday in Gloucester Township.
“Our canine heroes have a home now in Gloucester Township,” Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton said.
The ceremony, held at Veteran’s Park, took place during the annual Gloucester Township day.
This is the fourth consecutive year in which service dogs were honored in the township, but the first time a wall of fame was dedicated to them.
“Every year, it gets larger and larger and we include more dogs,” said Lillian Kline, president and founder of Our K9 Heroes, the nonprofit organization that sponsored the event.
The wall of fame with the names of the first inductees will be located inside the municipal building, Kline said.
“They’re all dogs that we have honored in the past,” Kline said.
Lillian Kline of Pine Hill and her German shepherd, Hope, take part in a procession honoring working dogs. Kline is president and founder of Our K9 Heroes, which sponsored Saturday’s event in Gloucester Township.
Inductees include dogs from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Kline said. Among them were two Philadelphia Police Department dogs, four Camden County Department of Corrections dogs, an Evesham Township Police Department dog, two Gloucester Township Police Department dogs and various therapy and mobility assistance dogs, including Kline’s own dog Hope.
Kline, who suffers from cerebral palsy and arthritis, has had six service dogs.
The idea to honor her canine companions came after one of her dogs, Tara, was attacked.
“They were a bunch of young punks,” Kline said of the attackers. “They wanted to see if she would bite.”
After the 1994 incident, Tara was too traumatized to return to work, but Kline kept her until she died at the age of 12.
“After her assault, I made a promise to her that I would honor those who were like her,” Kline said.
Her work resulted in the first ceremony of its kind — dedicated to all working dogs, not those those that performed extraordinary deeds.
“This is very nice, to honor the police dogs and the service dogs, especially the service dogs,” said Bobbie Snyder of Williamstown, who has three yellow Labradors trained to perform various duties. “A lot of people would be lost without their service dogs.”
Kline also received an award for the time and effort to recognize these often neglected canine heroes.
“This is a woman who has not let her disability keep her from giving back to the community,” Councilwoman Crystal Evans said.
Reach Lavinia DeCastro at (856) 486-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Touching video here of a funeral for a Las Vegas Metro Police Dog named Ben.
Sometimes small town police departments have the biggest hearts, especially when it comes to K9s.
Waskom Police Department’s K9 partnerships, Officer Forrest Mitchell with K9 Harley and Officer Dwayne Longmire with K9 Caesar proved just that at the 2009 National Narcotic Detector Dog Association conference.
|Terri Hahn/News Messenger
|Officer Dwayne Longmire with K9 Caesar and Officer Forrest Mitchell with K9 Harley took top honors in the teams competition at the 2009 National Narcotic Detector Dog Conference in Corpus Christi.
“For four dogs from Harrison County to place in the top 50 percent is saying great things about Harrison County K9s,” said Mitchell, who added that two of the dogs placed in the top 20 percent.
The conference was April 20 through April 24 in Corpus Christi and included 160 K9 contestants from 28 states.
Waskom’s two K9s and their human handlers worked together to take first in teams. Harley placed third overall, which earned him the Mike Brown Award for Top Malinois. Caesar placed 33 overall.
“That’s what (Mitchell) said before we went, that more than anything he’d like to bring back a trophy for teams,” said Longmire.
Brown was a legendary Malinois trainer, renowned for his deep rapport and communication with his dogs. The comparison to Brown is a deserved honor for Mitchell, Longmire said.
In their first year to compete at the NNDDA’s annual competition, Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Payne and K9 Rusty took 40th place and Deputy Brian Best with K9 Bruce took 72nd overall.
“This was Harrison County’s first year to compete and with young dogs. They will be real contenders next year,” predicted Mitchell.
Officer Mitchell has been at the Waskom Police Department for three years. He owns both dogs and has been working with Harley in narcotics detection for four years.
Mitchell also trained Caesar in narcotics detection while at the Jefferson Police Department, where he worked one year before coming to Waskom.
Harley is a 13-year-old Belgian malinois. This was his third year to compete in the NNDDA narcotics competition placing 104th his first year and 19th last year in Jackson, Miss. “I was thinking about retiring him because of his age, but with the heart he showed in the competition, I’m going to keep him in,” said Mitchell
Officer Longmire, an animal lover like Mitchell, has been working with Caesar for a year since getting to know the 5-year-old German shepherd while renting an apartment near Mitchell.
“This is my first year to compete with Caesar though I have with other dogs while working as a K9 officer in New London,” said Longmire, who has been at WPD since 2007 and has two years of K9 experience from New London Police Department.
Caesar placing 33rd was a major accomplishment for the K9 as he had been three years retired and only trained from January to April before the competition.
“We practice a little bit and he worked vehicles well. Even with the distractions of the highway, he went back to work like he had last stepped out of the car yesterday,” said Longmire.
Both men took the time to honor their own dog training mentors. Longmire credited his K9 knowledge to David Dockins and Scott McCally who taught him how to train and bond.
“Placing so well also says great things about Forrest and his work with in Jefferson for Caesar to place so well,” said Longmire.
Mitchell credited Karen Bush and Norm Gardener of Blanchard, La., who showed him how to train dogs and also gave Harley to him four years ago.
“Harley’s success has progressed over the years and he has matured a lot in the competitions,” said Mitchell. “Having a good dog in your department and trusting him is a big benefit to the department.”
Anyone who would like to see Mitchell, Longmire, Harley and Caesar in action can attend a K9 demonstration during a Drug Awareness Program at 3:30 p.m. on May 28 at New Hope Apartments in Waskom.
About 300 dogs and their handlers attended the 2009 NNDDA Conference though not all competed in the narcotics competition. Next year’s competition will be in Bossier City, La. For more information about the NNDDA visit www.nndda.org.
Posted by Kaye Spector/Plain Dealer Reporter
NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Dar the police dog is a tenacious fighter. In July, he endured repeated punches and an accidental Tasering to chase down and help detain a suspect who had assaulted his human police partner.
Zeus waits to receive the 2008 Top Honor for Narcotics Detection Award during Saturday’s ceremonies . Zeus and her partner, Officer Ronald Campbell III, are from the Fairport Harbor Police Department. Zeus has been in service for five years and had helped in narcotics detection for agencies including the Coast Guard and customs agentsBut on Saturday, Dar was the picture of calm and restraint as he and Shaker Heights police Sgt. Richard Mastnardo accepted top honors in the Northern Ohio Hero Dog Awards.
The competition is sponsored by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Northern Ohio and Medina-based Bil-Jac Dog Foods. Categories in the nine-year-old award program include Pursuit, Building Search, Tracking, Narcotics Detection and Lifetime Achievement.
Twenty-one officer-dog teams were honored on a grassy patch outside the Super 8 motel on Lorain Road, while a crowd of about 80 watched under sunny skies. Most were there for the dog club’s annual show, which featured competition and classes.
Dar, a black and tan German shepherd, sat alert and quiet at Mastnardo’s side as club officer Marcie Shanker told the crowd how the dog helped collar a man who later was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, assault, drug trafficking and drug possession.
Mastnardo, in a police car with Dar, had stopped a man riding a bike and the two began struggling after the man tried to reach into his pocket. The man punched Mastnardo, and Dar came out of the car.
In the struggle, Dar was accidentally Tasered, but when the man fled, the dog continued to chase him even after being punched repeatedly in the head. After a chase, police arrested the man and found a gun nearby. Mastnardo believes Dar knocked the gun out of the man’s hand and prevented the officer from being shot.
“Dar’s courage and drive to protect his partner is a testament to the breed as well as the many hours of training and bonding between Sgt. Mastnardo and Dar,” Shaker Heights police Lt. Jim Mariano said in Dar’s nomination.
Other dogs were recognized for feats such as tracking two men to their house after they had held up a pizza deliverer, intimidating a man who was violently resisting arrest and finding 30 kilograms of cocaine on a private plane. Gunner the dog and his partner, Euclid Patrolman David Trend, found two burglars in a cluttered, pitch-black warehouse.
“It’s great that there’s clubs out there that honor what these dogs do,” Trend said after the ceremony.
Each honoree received a plaque, a certificate and a gold medal hanging from a red-white-and-blue ribbon. But the best swag — for the dogs, anyway — was in the goodie bag: Bil-Jac dog food, treats and a plush toy.
By RANDI ROSSMANN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend, leaving a legacy of city service and a reputation as an award-winning law enforcement canine.
The 14-year-old Belgian Malinois “retired” from service in January 2007 after eight years and continued living with his handler, Officer Paul Accornero.
PETALUMA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend.
The death has been a blow to officers, said Sgt. Mark Hunter, who supervises the department’s two dog teams.
“It’s a part of your family and it’s a co-worker,” Hunter said. “It’s a great loss for us all.”
The police department bought Roy in spring 1999 and Accornero trained him for narcotics work, patrol duty and countless good-will sessions at schools and community gatherings.
Roy was a friendly police ambassador but also a serious tracker of lost people, hiding suspects and stashed narcotics. Officers appreciated the extra protection he offered.
Hunter said Roy helped arrest more than 120 suspects and seize more than $313,000 in illegal drugs and $155,000 in drug money.
Roy also built an impressive reputation in police dog competitions. He earned 103 awards over the years, including several “Top Dog” awards at California competitions. He and Accornero won gold medals in the 2001 World Police and Fire Games in Indiana, the 2001 California Police Summer Games and the 2004 California Police Summer Games, Hunter said.
In his final year working for the department, Roy won the “Top Dog” award in the narcotics division in the 2006 trial season competition for the Western States Police Canine Association.
“He was not just known on a local level. He was very well known throughout the (law enforcement) canine community,” Hunter said.
Petaluma currently has two police dogs, Rico and Kilo. They are two of about 20 police dogs working in Sonoma County.
Article found here: The Press Democrat
by Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
1/15/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) – Dental Airmen teamed up with Army veterinarians to give an Air Force working dog a root canal and get her back into the fight Jan. 15 at an air base in Southwest Asia.
Airmen, Soldiers team up to keep working dog in the fight
Military working dog Kitti awaits her root canal at the feet of her handler, Senior Airman Adam Belward Jan. 15 at an air base in Southwest Asia. Kitti’s operation required the collaboration of both an Air Force dentist and an Army veterinarian. Airman Belward is assigned to the 822nd Security Forces Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Courtney Richardson)
Airmen of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group and Soldiers from the 218th Medical Detachment to work on 5-year-old Belgian melinois Kitti who broke her tooth while trying to chew her way out of her kennel during the flight from Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
“She doesn’t like to be left alone,” said Senior Airman Adam Belward, Kitti’s handler from the 822nd Security Forces Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
“She was very stressed out in her kennel and tried to chew her way out,” said the native of Norwalk, Conn.
Army veterinarians in charge of providing medical care for military working dogs didn’t have all the necessary equipment to treat Kitti. The solution was a collaborative effort with the 386th EMDG’s dental team, who had an X-ray machine and an experienced dentist. The veterinarians had the anesthesia and experience with dogs.
“(The veterinarian) has talents I don’t have, and I have talents she doesn’t have, so we both need each other,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Henderson, a 386th EMDG dentist. “It was definitely a teamwork concept.”
With Kitti and Airman Belward due in Afghanistan in a week, the options were limited. They could either perform the root canal at the air base in Southwest Asia, send the dog to be treated at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, or pull the tooth altogether.
Airman Belward said he was apprehensive about the procedure.
“I was nervous about it,” he said. “It’s one of her key things for protecting herself, for protecting me.”
Army Capt. (Dr.) Elizabeth Williams of the 218th MD said the procedure had a 95 percent success rate.
“I have a good staff with a good anesthesia technician, a good, healthy dog and a strong source of experience,” she said. “We can do it here, invest a little time here and send her on her way.”
Airmen, Soldiers team up to keep working dog in the fight
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Henderson drills a hole in the tooth of Air Force military working dog Kitti to perform a root canal with the assistance of Army Capt. (Dr.) Elizabeth Williams Jan. 15 at an air base in Southwest Asia. Dr. Henderson is a 386th Expeditionary Medical Group dentist. Captain Williams is a 218th Medical Detachment veterinarian. The 386th EMDG and the 218th staffs had to combine their resources and experience for the dog’s operation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Courtney Richardson)
Sending the dog back to Lackland AFB would take a week, and the vets were reluctant to pull the tooth because doing so weakens the jaw. Dog teeth are more deeply rooted and pulling a tooth requires pulling a bit of bone as well, Captain Williams said.
“Patrol dogs need to be able to bite people and keep them from running away,” she said. “It’s not a mission ender. It’s like when someone has four fingers on their hand instead of five, and there’s never been a study that says being bitten with three teeth hurts less than being bitten with four.”
“Three holes in someone is pretty bad,” Airman Belward agreed. “But four is ideal.”
Complicating the procedure was the need for an X-ray. Senior Airman Dedric Bullock, a 386th EMDG radiologist technician, never imagined having to take X-rays of an attack dog. He said there were advantages and disadvantages to working with a dog.
“The factors are a dog’s snout. It’s in a good aspect,” he said. “If it was in the back, there’d be no way we can do this.”
Staff Sgt. Heather Gaffney, the 386th EMDG dental NCO in charge who is deployed from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, said each patient is different, particularly the nonhuman ones.
“Every patient has its own challenges,” she said. “Obviously a sedated dog is going to be completely different. It’s interesting. We never get to do this kind of stuff.”
After a four-hour procedure, Kitti was in the clear with two silver fillings in her canine.
“She’s ready to go out and win the war on terrorism,” Airman Belward said.
Dr. Henderson said that aside from lacking a tool neither he nor Dr. Williams possessed and having to work through it, the procedure went according to the plan.
“I said next time we should do one that’s tooth is broken even worse,” he said after the procedure.
Airmen, Soldiers team up to keep working dog in the fight
Army Pfc. Roderick Aldrich assists Army Capt. (Dr.) Elizabeth Williams with the intubation of Air Force military working dog Kitti before her root canal Jan. 15 at an air base in Southwest Asia. Private Aldrich and Dr. Williams are assigned to the 218th Medical Detachment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Courtney Richardson)
The native of Texas City, Texas, said the procedure was important because keeping working dogs in the fight is vital to the war effort.
“Military working dogs are a unique, nonhuman, person-type weapons system,” Dr. Henderson said. “It’s an awesome weapon system I fully appreciate, and we have to have their capabilities in theater.”
Dr. Williams agreed, adding that’s why she’s here in the fight.
“It’s always good to get the dogs back on their feet, chasing bad guys and sniffing out bombs, and that’s what we do here,” she said.
Ventura Police Department K9 Team Thanks the Community and Partners with Local Radio Station to Donate Toys for the Holidays
VPD Community News
Thursday, December 11, 2008
On December 10, 2008 Ventura Police Department (VPD) K9 Officers Jack Ortega, and K9 Partner Felix, along with K9 Officers Jamie Nave and Scott Garrett, appeared on “Bo In the Morning” (morning talk show on B-95.1) and presented over $300 in toys for the annual Toys For Tots toy drive.
Pictured left to right: Officer Jack Ortega, K9 Felix, Officer Jamie Nave, Officer Scott Garrett, and Bo Jaxon, B-95.1 morning show co-host, with some of the toys donated by the VPD K9 Team- Photo by VPD
“This is a great way for us to give back to the community and to say thank you for the tremendous support”, said Officer Ortega. Officer Ortega noted that the department’s K9 Team and its four dogs are supported primarily through funds donated via the National Police Dog Foundation and the community. “The cost of a dog and training (which includes patrol techniques, narcotics, tracking, etc.) can be upwards of $20,000 and without community support a K9 program at VPD would not be possible”, said Lieutenant Tom Taylor who oversees VPD’s K9 Team.
While on air Officer Ortega also mentioned that his partner, Felix, will be retiring at the end of December after eight years of service. “Felix has been an incredible partner and served this community with dedication and bravery”, noted Ortega. Ortega, VPD’s most senior K9 Officer, will continue as a handler and receive a new partner shortly after the New Year.
Officer Jack Ortega, K9 Partner Felix, and Bo Jaxon, B-95.1 morning show co-host on air. Photo by VPD
To learn more about VPD’s K9 Team and the National Police Dog Foundation, or to make a donation please visit www.venturapd.org orwww.policedogfoundation.org.
Tigard Police Proudly Adds New K-9
On Monday, Tigard Police Officer Brian Jackson was officially recognized as a certified K-9 Handler with the State of Oregon. Officer Jackson recently completed a 400 hour K-9 training program offered locally through the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. A total of seven officers, representing six local police agencies, received K-9 Handler certification at a commencement program held at the Hillsboro Civic Center on March 31st. To successfully complete the program for certification, officers must demonstrate proficiency with hands-on tactical and control skills as well as extensive knowledge of K-9 handling as evidenced by successful completion of a series of written tests.
Tigard’s new K-9, Baxter, was obtained from a vendor in Florida earlier this year. Baxter, just under a year old, was bred in Europe. Prior to Tigard Police selecting Baxter, several other dogs were considered, but for various reasons did not meet the standards for acceptance by Tigard Police. Baxter is a male pure bred German Shepherd. He continually received high marks from the instructors during the ten week training program.
Officer Jackson will officially begin work as a Tigard Police K9 handler, along with Baxter when they both report for their shift April 2nd. Tigard Police previously halted the K-9 program in 1998 when both K-9′s active at the time were retired. The program has been in hiatus until last year when Tigard City Council approved the reinstatement of the K-9 program for the Police Department.
K-9′s are considered an important component in the continued efforts for a community to remain competitive in the fight to reduce crime. The added ability for tracking, delaying and locating suspects involved in crimes can prove to be invaluable to a police department.
You can learn more here: www.tigard-or.gov