The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office’s patrol dogs work closely with their handlers. Not only do the human and K-9 law enforcers work the same shifts, they also share a home.
When the sheriff’s office gets a dog, usually imported from Czechoslovakia, Holland or other parts of Europe, officials try to fit the dog with a handler based on personality matches, said 1st Sgt. Tommy Tolley, who leads the K-9 unit.
After going through an eight- to 10-week training course, the dogs go home with their handler to create a bond.
The majority of the time, the dogs live with their handlers for their whole lives. When the K-9 is about eight or 10 years old and ready for retirement, the handler is given the first option to keep the dog as a pet, Tolley said.
The K-9s work 12-hour shifts with their handlers and are on call as needed. They do everything from tracking missing children to sniffing out drugs.
“They love going to work. They know when you have your uniform on it’s time to go to work,” Tolley said.
The sheriff’s office has eight patrol dogs and two bloodhounds named Bonnie and Clyde. The bloodhounds, which were donated, are about 3 months away from being ready to work.
Unlike the other dogs, the bloodhounds are housed and cared for at the sheriff’s office.
For more information as well as bios and pictures of some of the dogs, go to http://www.brunswicksheriff.com/Home/Divisions/UniformServices/K9/tabid/671/Default.aspx
Date posted: September 15, 2009
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