VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – There’s a new team in town. The Vigo County Sheriff’s Office recently added three new faces to their force.
Blitz, Gnash and Stryker make up the new Vigo County K-9 Unit.
All three completed an intense 5-week training process along side their handlers. But, Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Hopper, a new member of the K-9 Unit says the training is endless.
“Even before I became a handler I thought it would be somewhat easy. But once you complete your 5-week training your just beginning, it never stops,” said Deputy Hopper.
From tracking a suspect to finding narcotics, these dogs work on multiple drills.
Deputy Hopper says, “He’s(Blitz) working the area, working the source of the smell down to where he can finally pin point it and that’s when he finally goes to his final response.”
“A lot of people think the police dogs are there to find narcotics and bite people. We use our K-9’s to track elderly adults and children,” said Deputy Hopper.
But most importantly they train to protect their handler.
Deputy Hopper says, “That’s a benefit of having a K-9. You’ve got an extra set of eyes. They go through rigorous training.”
Ultimately the dogs are building a bond with their handler.
Deputy Hopper says, “It’s a huge sense of security for me to have him there. I know he has my back and I have his back. He’s with me 24/7, he’s part of the family, and he’s like one of my kids.”
All three K-9’s came from ‘Shannon K-9″ in Parke County and cost $10,000 each. But thanks to various donations, the sheriff’s office didn’t have to pay a dime.