The K9 program that was previously utilized at the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office is now being revamped with the welcome of their newest and furriest member.
Previously, when the K9 on the force had aged and needed retirement, the sheriff’s office discontinued the program. Helper City also previously had dogs in their police department, who also retired. Utah Highway Patrol and Emery County each have one K9 in their ranks and Sheriff Jeff Wood stated that he believed a void could be filled by re-welcoming K9s to his office.
The office begun by welcoming their first dog, a donated black lab from a duck breeder in Logan. Though it was believed that this dog would be great for the program, they quickly learned that he was not skilled in finding drugs and were unable to use him. The dog now resides at Sheriff Wood’s home.
Then, a Belgian Malinois was purchased from a local breeder. This dog is just over two years old and has now finished training in full and is certified. The K9, named Joey, is already a member on the force and is partnered with deputy Jesse Bigelow. The dog will be in attendance at events around the community in the near future.
Sheriff Wood stressed that this dog is not an attack dog and is a single-purpose dog only. Joey is a very friendly animal that will take to individuals in the community and has never shown any signs of aggression.
“We wanted a dog that we could use in the schools, that we could bring in the jail and bring to any public event,” explained Sheriff Wood.
A CCJJ grant funded Joey, as well as donations from the community. Joining Joey is one more K9 that the office just welcomed into their ranks: a German Shorthaired.
There was no county funding for the dogs or the program. All of the dog food is donated by the Carbon County Animal Shelter. The handler will arrive at the office and spend an hour at the beginning of their shift, plus an hour at the end, for K9 maintenance. At the end of the dog’s career, the deputy that is in charge of them is allowed to keep the animal.
Sheriff Wood stated that they are hoping for two K9s altogether, one on each of the two patrol crews that are patrolling 365 days per year, in order to have a K9 on duty at all times. The K9 will be proactive in visiting schools to sniff lockers, inspecting storage units, walking around motels and more.
In conclusion, Sheriff Wood expressed that he would like to see the K9s out in public in order for individuals to be aware that there is a working dog on the force.