Archive for german shepherd

Military police honor K-9 team member

Posted in Marine dog teams with tags , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by wardogmarine
MCB QUANTICO, Va. (June 18) — Santo, a military working dog stationed here at Quantico, was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal at a ceremony on June 18.The same traits that led to his success as a working dog, combined with the ravages of old age, led to the sad decision to euthanize the dog.

His aggressiveness and brute strength make him too risky to be put up for adoption. Santo was euthanized on June 19 due to the extent of his ailments.
MWD Santo
Military Working Dog Santo, a patrol and explosive detection dog with Military Police Company, Security Battalion, received a Navy Achievement Medal June 18 for his extensive work both here and as the first MWD deployed from here. Cpl. Richard Bock, dog handler with Military Police Co., Security Bn., here, accepted the award for Santo. Bock had been taking care of Santo since his former trainer left Security Bn. following he and Santo’s second deployment.

The 129-pound German Shepherd, born in Czechoslovakia, became the first military working dog to deploy from Marine Corps Base Quantico in 2004 when he was sent to Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Dana L. Brown, the kennel master at MilitaryPolice Company, Security Battalion, chose Santo and his handler, Cpl. Donald R. Paldino, because of how well they worked together.

‘‘[Santo] and his handler were an incredible team. They spent four years together and were a solid team all around,” said Brown.

While at MCB Quantico, Santo performed more than 20,000 vehicle searches, 85 health and comfort inspections and 42 building searches. His nose also helped Marines in Iraq when he found a large weapons cache consisting of more than 2,000 7.62 rounds, 20 mortar rounds, 12 rocket propelled grenade rounds and various other bomb-making materials. He earned a reputation as the ‘‘most feared dog in the kennel.”

‘‘I trusted him just as much as I trusted any other Marine. When things go bad people have uncontrollable thoughts [about the situation]; a second of hesitation,” said Paldino, now a civilian working as the director of K9 operations for S.E.A.L. Security Solutions, a private security firm. ‘‘Most dogs don’t have that reaction, there’s no second thought. It’s ‘do it because you’re told to do it, do it because you want to do it and that was the bottom line.’”

Santo’s exceptional sense of smell and aggressive nature gave the Marinesdeployed with him the confidence to complete the mission while patrolling the streets of Fallujah.

‘‘I felt more secure [with Santo] – more importantly – I think the people I was attached to felt more secure,” said Paldino, of Oxford, Mass. ‘‘He had an unbelievable nose; he was really good at finding explosives. He gave everybody a sense of security, not just me.”

A hip injury slowed Santo down after his first deployment but not enough to keep him from returning to Iraq in 2006 to help support the troops in Ramadi.
paldino
Cpl. Donald R. Paldino, an MP attached to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, gives his partner, Santo, a 4-year-old Czechoslovakian Shepherd, time to stretch his legs at an outpost near Fallujah, Iraq. Paldino ensures Santo stays cool despite the Iraqi heat, 16 July 2004.

Hip dysplasia, a common cause of arthritis in canine, and lumbosacral disease, a condition where the nerves and spinal cord become compressed as they pass through the lower spine, set in following Santo’s second deployment. The ailments made it difficult for him to move around, said Brown. These injuries kept Santo from deploying again. Also, the same traits that earned Santo his NAM lead to his untimely death.

‘‘We’ve been taking him out and grooming him, getting him some exercise [since his last deployment],” said Cpl. Richard Bock, who has been in charge of taking care of Santo since Paldino left Quantico.

‘‘He deserves this recognition,” said Brown. ‘‘He has been an amazing dog and definitely the most memorable in my 14 years in the military working dog field.”

There is currently an effort to have Santo’s body preserved and added to the K9 exhibit at the Marine Corps History Museum at MCB Quantico.

— Correspondent sean.cummins@usmc.mil

Northern Ohio Hero Dog Awards honor police forces’ bravest canines

Posted in police dog teams, police dogs, Various Teams with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by wardogmarine

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.
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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.

Navy Brass Salutes One of Kitsap’s Top Dogs

Posted in Navy dog teams, retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by wardogmarine

— After 11 years of sniffing out drugs and patrolling Naval Base Kitsap, Benny the military working dog is retiring to an Illinois horse ranch.

The 12-year-old German shepherd received a farewell salute — and several treats — during a sunny retirement ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Bangor base.

He joined base commander Capt. Mark Olson at the podium to accept a Navy Commendation Medal, a plaque from Navy Region Northwest with a letter of appreciation from its commander, Rear Adm. James Symonds, an American flag, a stunning blue “civilian” leash and a paw shake.

Benny’s first handler, Michael DeBock, traveled from Duvall to speak to a crowd of about 30 people and six of Benny’s kennel mates.

benny-retires
Benny, a military service dog, enjoys a bite of his retirement cake after formal ceremonies at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. With Benny is his handler, Allan Tetreault, who has worked with the German shepherd for 18 months. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

“Out of all the dogs I handled in the military, Benny by far was my favorite,” said DeBock, now retired from the Navy and a police sergeant. “I’ll never forget him. He was definitely the best patrol pal anyone could ask for.”

Looking down at Benny, he added, “Enjoy long days basking in the sun. You deserve it.”

Benny got off to a rough start. Straight out of training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the puppy just wanted to play. But soon he became a top performer.

In January 2000, he earned the top dog award at a Naval Base Kitsap competition. Three months later, he and DeBock finished fourth out of 58 teams from around the world at a competition in San Antonio, were the top Navy team there, and were featured in a magazine.

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Benny, a military service dog for 11 years, was the guest of honor at a retirement ceremony Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Benny’s handler, Allan Tetreault, led Benny past the Bangor canine unit to the podium. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

Benny served at Bangor from March 1998 to December 2008, playing a key role in ensuring a drug-free workplace by inspecting buildings, bachelor housing rooms, vehicles and submarines. He also served two stints in Iraq and another in Kuwait.

“He was a very passionate dog, very people-friendly, just a good partner,” said 1st Class Petty Officer Allan Tetreault, his handler the past 18 months.

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Military service dog Benny, center, and handler Allan Tetreault pose with other members of the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor canine unit. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

The dog’s handler gets first dibs on him, then the other handlers have a chance. If none of them take him, members of the public can sign up at http://www.workingdog.com to adopt one. In Benny’s case, he was adopted by a woman who owns a horse ranch in Illinois.

Unlike police dogs, military dogs don’t live with their handlers, and their handlers change more often because sailors don’t usually stay at one base for long. The dogs are retired when they’re physically unable to perform or, like people, when they get tired of working, Tetreault said.

The civilian leash represents a dog’s working days are over and he can go home and be a dog.

“He was much more than a dog,” said Chief Amanda Cooper of Naval Base Kitsap Security, the master of ceremonies. “He was a friend and companion who put his life on the line to protect others. Military Working Dog Benny, you stand relieved. We have the watch.”

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Mike DeBock, left, and Allan Tetreault visit while military service dog Benny finishes up his retirement cake Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. DeBock was Benny’s first handler at Bangor, and Tetreault his last. Benny is retiring after 11 years and has been adopted by a horse ranch owner in Illinois. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

This story was found here: Benny Retires

Fort Huachuca honors military working dog SSgt Britt

Posted in Army Dog teams, fallen dogs, Tribute Videos, Various Teams with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2008 by wardogmarine

Britt, military working dog, earns last rites befitting hero
Arizona Daily Star ^ | Carol Ann Alaimo 

Britt the bomb-sniffing dog, who served overseas in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, will get a funeral befitting a hero at Fort Huachuca. The ashes of the Army canine, recently put down due to neurological illness, will be interred behind the kennels that served as his home base as a military color guard looks on.

The 11-year-old German shepherd was euthanized on Sept. 11 and will be buried Dec. 3 at the Southern Arizona Army post.

Following tradition, taps will be played and a flag folded and presented to Sgt. Megan Hobson, Britt’s last handler.

“We lost a fallen comrade,” said Hobson, 24, a Utah native serving with the fort’s 18th Military Police Detachment.

“He may have been a piece of Army equipment, but I loved that dog,” said Hobson, who was with Britt when he died.

The German shepherd held the rank of staff sergeant — military dogs always outrank their handlers by one stripe, to discourage ill treatment of a superior. He had several Army medals to his credit and had worked as an explosives detector dog since 1999.

Overseas, he took part in numerous missions that likely saved lives, officials said. On patrol in Iraq, he unearthed weapons caches and makeshift bombs, and even collared an insurgent by chasing him down.

Hobson, Britt’s handler for three months, arranged for the canine to spend his final days in the Huachuca Mountains doing his favorite things.

“They let me have a couple days with him where he was just a dog, he didn’t have to work,” she recalled.

She bought him doggie delicacies — sirloin steak with mashed potatoes from a Texas Roadhouse restaurant — and they played fetch with his favorite squeaky toy.

Britt had a reputation for nipping people — “love bites” as the handlers call them — but Hobson, a rarity as a female handler, said she never saw that side of him. “I think he needed a woman in his life,” she said.

Fort Huachuca spokeswoman Tanja Linton said the fanfare at an Army dog’s funeral is not quite the same as honors rendered for a human.

Still, she said in a statement, the service aims to pay respects to “a different kind of soldier.”

“Britt served his country with loyalty and distinction,” she said.
● Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at 573-4138 or at calaimo@azstarnet.com.

Military Working Dog Hero Lex in a Veterans Day Parade

Posted in fallen handlers, Marine dog teams, Military Working Dogs, Miscellaneous, retired dogs, various k9 videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by wardogmarine

If you have not read or heard about the Marine military working dog handler Cpl Dustin Lee and his mwd Lex then check them out. Cpl Lee was killed in action during the War on Terror but his mwd Lex survived and has been adopted by Cpl Lee’s family. This is video of Lex in a Veterans Day Parade in Phoenix from this past month.  

New York State Police K9 Cops

Posted in police dog teams, police dogs with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2008 by wardogmarine

Working dogs: the K-9 cop

By: Lisa Chelenza of news10now.com 

The New York State Police started using bloodhounds for tracking in the 1930s and also recruit other breeds like Labs and Rottweilers. Trooper Jeff Cicora has been a K-9 handler for almost eight years and explains why the German shepherd is a favorite.

“The image of a working dog for police is the German shepherd. They are easy to train, very loyal, very courageous. And in the overall police job they do the best of everything,” said Cicora.


(courtesy News10now.com )

The dogs who become K-9 cops are either donated or adopted as youngsters and only the bravest, smartest and most playful complete the 26 weeks of specialized training in Cooperstown, N.Y. to become officers.

“A K-9 unit dog and handler are trained in several different things. They are trained in obedience, handler protection and either drugs or explosives, they are never trained in both,” said Cicora.

Trooper Cicora’s dog Devitt is trained to protect him, search for bad guys and sniff out explosives.

 Like all K-9 cops, Devitt is named after a fallen trooper. Trooper Kenneth Devitt died from injuries he received in an on duty car accident in 1937.

As you can imagine the relationship between dog and handler is complicated and goes beyond pet parent and companion.

“These come with us every tour of duty we make, they are more of a family member than a pet,” said Cicora.

If you happen to come across a K-9 cop, be sure to ask their handler if it’s okay to pet them. You wouldn’t want to disturb them while they’re working.

Air Force K9 Handler Married Soldier Who Saved Her Life

Posted in air force teams, Military Working Dogs, retired dogs, Working Dog News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by wardogmarine

This is an incredible story. Love sure brings people together in the most unique ways. This Air Force military working dog team is struck by an IED(improvised explosive device). Although badly wounded, she and her military working dog Rex survive. The US Army medic who comes to her aid, saves her life, and they eventually get married. On top of all that, they are allowed to adopt her military working dog Rex. I wish these two all the best. The article, which is from the Air Force Times is below. 

Jamie’s war wounds

K-9 handler adopted her Air Force dog and married the soldier who saved her life. But she’s still struggling to recover

By Michael Hoffman – Staff writer, Air Force Times

Every married couple has a story about the first time they met. Mike and Jaime Mangan met on the battlefield in Iraq.

She was severely wounded, and he almost let her die.

Jaime, then an Air Force K-9 handler with the 21st Security Forces Squadron, was patrolling Baghdad on June 25, 2005, with her working dog, Rex. They were searching for improvised explosive devices.

On the drive back to base in her Humvee, Jamie drove over one.

The explosion flung her onto the street, where she lay unconscious. Mike, an Army sergeant first class with the 1159th Medical Company, was the first medic to reach her.

Jaime’s lungs had collapsed, her pelvis was shattered, and three vertebrae in her spine were fractured. Mike later discovered she also was bleeding internally, and her spleen had ruptured.

He had to make a snap decision: Should he spend time trying to save her or — due to the seriousness of her injuries — move on to help others who might have a better chance of surviving?

As luck would have it, several factors allowed him to focus on Jaime.

The helicopter that took him and other soldiers to the scene was ready to depart immediately, so he got there quicker than usual. In addition, he had a new medic working with him, so he could afford to spend time with Jaime.

“If I hadn’t had the extra medic that day and we had been five minutes later, she would have been someone I had to leave behind,” he said.

When Mike finally left Jaime’s side, he had no reason to think he would see her again. And he wouldn’t have — except for Rex.

The German shepherd survived the IED attack with only a singed nose and was found walking near the blast site. Jaime, rehabbing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., thought the dog had been killed, but once she found out he survived, she wanted to adopt him.

Rex was nowhere near retirement age, however, and under Title 10, U.S. Code 2583, the Air Force couldn’t release Rex if he was still young and healthy enough to work.

Jaime chose to fight that law, going public with her plea. Many newspapers and TV news stations carried stories on her plight. Soon, members of Congress and former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley took notice and backed her request.

On Dec. 30, 2005, President Bush signed into law a bill to allow working dogs to be adopted by their handlers after a traumatic event.

So Jaime was able to take Rex home. Together, they attended the 2006 State of the Union speech as guests of first lady Laura Bush in the House gallery.

“The entire process was a neat deal,” said Jaime’s dad, Randy Himes. “Rex is now part of the family. We have not one but two Air Force members now.”


Photo Courtesy of JOHN NORMILE
Mike and Jamie Mangan with Rex outside their farm in Smethport Pennsylvania on August 4. Jamie and Rex were a team in Iraq where Jamie was gravely injured by an IED in 2005. Mike Mangan was the first medic on the scene and saved her life, and they eventually were married.

BUDDING ROMANCE

Home from his deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq, Mike, 47, read about Jaime’s battle to bring Rex home and instantly recognized her face.

By then, Jaime was back at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. One of Mike’s friends, an officer at the base, sent pictures of the ceremony when she received the Purple Heart. The friend encouraged him to call her.

He did.

“I started off saying, ‘I want to apologize ahead of time if this upsets you, but my name is Mike and I was the flight medic the day you were wounded,’” he recalled.

“Then there was just silence and I was like, ‘Man, I stepped on it.’”

Stunned, Jaime eventually explained that she was trying to piece together exactly what happened after the IED exploded. She had no coherent memories for a month after the blast occurred. She and Mike talked for 45 minutes.

“She ended the conversation saying, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’ I just said, ‘Don’t say that to me on the telephone. I want to meet you,’” Mike said.

The two spoke on the phone and e-mailed for three months before Mike — who was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. — took a trip to Peterson in August 2006.

“It was great that I got to say thank you,” she said. “I also got to fill in some voids and, at the same time, I felt the need to get to know him.”

MEDICALLY RETIRED

Jaime, 29, had dreamed of becoming a veterinarian after her service, but when she returned to school, it was impossible for her to concentrate on coursework or study for tests.

“I used to be a straight-A student, but now I can’t learn new things or remember formulas,” she said.

The IED had left her with traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the Iraq war.

She has the classic symptoms: memory loss, migraine headaches, difficulty concentrating and violent mood swings.

“In the beginning, you would call her and she would never call you back just because she could never remember,” said Staff Sgt. Tony Davis, a former co-worker.

Jaime still suffers excruciating pain that makes it hard to walk and to sleep at night, she said.

The jagged scars on her chest serve as a reminder of the multiple surgeries she endured. Doctors removed her spleen and fused her spine to the inside of her pelvis after the attack.

Jaime said it’s unlikely she’ll be able to have children.

She wanted to remain in uniform, but her injuries forced her to medically retire as a technical sergeant.

“Leaving the Air Force was real difficult for her,” Himes said.

REUNION

Mike flew to Peterson for Jaime’s retirement ceremony, and the two began dating.

Jaime moved back East to her hometown of Smethport, Pa., to be closer to her family.

Mike retired from the Army in June 2007 as a first sergeant after 26 years and moved to Pennsylvania, where he works at the local hospital as a registered nurse.

Four months after they started dating, the two got married in a small ceremony in November 2006.

“I think Mike would have liked to have had a bigger wedding, but I just couldn’t handle it, and he understood that,” Jaime said.

Mike and Jaime lean on each other for support.

“There are good days and bad days,” he said. “There are days she is in so much pain she can’t even sleep and there are times her mind isn’t in the same ZIP code … but at least I know the source of the pain and it’s easier when you are both dealing with it,” Mike said.

Jaime now investigates child abuse cases as a social worker for the McKean County Children and Youth Services Agency.

She also volunteers as an emergency medical technician for the Hamlin Township fire department, where her father is the chief.

But what Jaime says she finds most therapeutic is working with Rex and taking care of her five horses.

“It’s mentally relaxing just brushing them,” she said. The horses “don’t judge you or demand anything from you. I just can’t connect with people anymore, it’s too stressful.”

However, Jaime says she could soon lose those horses because she won’t be able to afford them. The Veterans Affairs Department recently reduced her disability rating from 100 percent to 70 percent, following a medical re-examination. That cut her monthly disability payment from $2,500 to $1,100.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Mike Parker, who helps service members navigate the VA process, said it’s not uncommon for ratings to drop as a patient gets better.

But, Mike said he finds it difficult to understand.

“I don’t look at it as critical income, but for you to give up your organs like that, and then someone says it’s not worth that compensation anymore. Geez.”

Losing those organs isn’t what bothers Jaime the most, though. It’s her luck.

The hardest part of her recovery has been thinking of the more than 1,800 service members who have died from IED blasts.

“I have a hard time with the fact that I survived,” she said. “Maybe [Mike] should have just walked away. There are so many soldiers who have died that have kids and had families.

“I don’t have kids. I don’t have anyone that needed me there. I just wish I could have taken somebody else’s place.”

Heroic dog remembered after serving 10 years

Posted in fallen dogs, Military Working Dogs, Miscellaneous, police dog teams, police dogs, Various Teams, Working Dog News with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by wardogmarine

 

 

By Dennis Yohnka 
The Daily Journal correspondent in Illinois
dyohnka@daily-journal.com

Lorraine Spaeth tried her best to prepare for Monday. The sunless, rainy weather seemed perfect for the task at hand. She wanted to say goodbye with compassion, but hoped to avoid the overflow of emotion that some consider wasted on animals.

This day would mark her last hours with her dog, Kelsey. And her first hours of adjusting to life without her. They weren’t just companions. They were co-workers, partners for 10 years.    As longtime members of the Manteno Fire Department and the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department Canine Search Team, it was Lorraine and Kelsey’s duty to help bring closure to families with missing loved ones. The 13-year-old German shepherd made three “live finds” in her career, but her specialty was locating the lifeless bodies that stymied police investigations.

Monday, the process of closure began for Kelsey.

Spaeth, her veterinarian and a few friends said their last goodbyes, before this honored public servant was euthanized. Her body was taken for cremation at the Wolfe Whispering Winds pet crematory in Chebanse. Services there were donated out of respect for Kelsey’s service.

Kelsey shows her love for kittens.(photo courtesy of The Daily Journal)

On Tuesday, the ashes were spread in a private location where Kelsey once trained and played. Yes, even working dogs have some time for play.

“She was great on the job, but she was just as good as a companion,” Lorraine said. “She had cancer four years ago and we got her through that. She didn’t work much toward the end. She was more of my lap dog then.”

Kelsey started having seizures earlier this year; and as they became more commonplace and more stressful for the dog, the decision was made to end her fear and discomfort.

Lorraine described Kelsey as a good traveler, and they took on missing persons cases in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as Illinois. Kelsey was responsible for the discovery of 10 bodies in the Kankakee area. But Lorraine is more comfortable recalling the living subjects.

“There was a fugitive once in a cornfield. I didn’t know it, but Kelsey did. She started barking and wanting to go in the field,” Lorraine said. “I shouted out that the man had better come out or I was going to send the dog in — and that ‘cornfield’ started talking back to me right away.”

It was more often the case that Kelsey led her human friends to the remains of bodies, sometimes little more than the bones. Since her purchase from a Monee kennel, “The Kaiser’s Miss Kelsey Storm” (that’s her given name) was trained just for this sort of work.

In fact, her reputation was such that New York City officials requested Kelsey’s help in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. She couldn’t make the trip, though. Lorraine was recovering from knee surgery at the time and couldn’t handle the duty.

“I guess I really sheltered her a lot,” Lorraine said of her friend. “I kept her away from the press. I didn’t want her distracted on the job. I didn’t let kids pet her if she was working. But I really think she was happy. She had a good life.”

Lorraine has retired from the Manteno Fire Department, but she is still active with the sheriff’s department team. After the private funeral services Monday afternoon, she expected to get back to training her fourth dog.

“There are just two important things that I want people to know about Kelsey,” Lorraine said outside the Manteno Fire Department offices. “They should know that we were part of a search team and that team goes on. Those volunteers are still out there. Still nonprofit. Still ready to serve.

“And the second thing is the appreciation I feel for Rod Wolfe (and the staff at the pet crematory). They donated their services out of respect for Kelsey’s service and I just think that’s very nice.”

With a steady shower still falling outside, Lorraine took time to go through some photos of her dog. And she remembered the more tender moments.

“We had a case — I think it was out by Limestone,” she said. “Kelsey came back from the field with a stray kitten and took it to the Red Cross tent. And then she went back to work.

“She always had a thing for kittens. She could take or leave dogs, but she loved kittens.”

Police hero Carts remembered

Posted in Foreign Dog Teams with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2008 by wardogmarine

From the Australian Illawarra Mercury

A SMALL corner of the Goulburn Police Academy bears testament to the bravery of Carts, the police dog killed in the line of duty at Corrimal in December.

Police were devastated and the community outraged when Carts was stabbed twice while in pursuit of a Balgownie teenager, and later died from his injuries.

The youth was initially charged with the killing, but the charge was subsequently withdrawn.

At yesterday’s graduation ceremony for two legged police officers, new recruits of the four-legged variety were also introduced.

Three new police dogs and two drug detection dogs enjoyed their own coming out parade, while 299 human recruits were sworn in.


Brave servant: Police Dog Carts during a training routine. His training continued throught his police career. Carts was killed in the line of duty at Corrimal in December.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Carts’ former handler David Williamson added the slain dog’s name to a memorial wall dedicated to police horses and dogs killed in the line of duty.

Police Dog Carts’ name joins Police Dog Sam, Police Dog Boss and Police Dog Titan.

The memorial was built to recognise the importance police horses and dogs play in supporting front line police work.

Acting inspector Tony Irons from the NSW police dog unit said the dogs provided support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to police out in the field.

He said the bond between the dogs and their handlers went far beyond a working relationship.

“The dog and his handler are a team. At the end of shift, the dog will go home with that handler and live with the family,” Inspector Irons said.

“The loss of a dog to the handler’s family is immense. It’s a very strong bond.

“The loss of Police Dog Carts was greatly felt amongst police and the community.

“His legacy will live on through the memorial that was unveiled today.”

He said apart from the emotional attachment to the animals, the dogs are highly trained and valued members of the team.

“Our dogs undergo 16 weeks’ initial training to get the dog to a basic operational level, and the training is ongoing for the rest of their working life.

“They are trained in tracking and searching, property searching, searching for missing people and criminals and criminal apprehension.

“We are on the front line. The dog unit is called in when other police have lost an offender or are wanting that bit of extra support in arresting an offender.”

At the ceremony, tribute was paid to Senior Constable Brett Williams, who was Carts’ handler at the time of the stabbing.

Also on Friday, the PD Titan Memorial Award, instigated in memory of Police Dog Titan who was killed in the line of duty during in Sydney in 2004, was awarded to Leading Senior Constable Matthew Warwick and Police Dog Riggs. The pair showed bravery while attending a siege at Rylstone, in which an offender was pursued and arrested without serious injury to police or the suspect.

Carts was named after Constable David Carty, who was stabbed in an off duty incident in 2007.

In May, Carts was recognised by the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia for his diligent service. Since joining the force in 2002, Carts achievements included finding missing persons and tracking offenders for serious crimes including sexual assault and armed robberies.

Dog is back on beat after surgery

Posted in police dog teams with tags , , , , , , on September 2, 2008 by wardogmarine

German shepherd suffered a pinched nerve that hampered his mobility


Pfc. Jamie Machiesky feels the new strength and pull of narcotics dog Ken.(Baltimore Sun photo by Monica Lopossay / August 20, 2008)

By Tyeesha Dixon from The Baltimore Sun

It’s a common injury but often goes unnoticed.

And the pinched nerve that kept Ken, a 5-year-old German shepherd, from getting into a cruiser, using stairs or moving his tail could have abruptly ended his career as a drug-sniffing police dog.

That is, until he went under the knife.

Compression of the nerve roots in the lower back – a pinched nerve – is not uncommon among dogs. But the condition is difficult to diagnose unless the owner notices a change in the animal’s behavior, said Dr. William Bush, the veterinarian who performed the surgery on Ken.

In younger dogs, pinched nerves cause pain and can prevent them from using their tails and engaging in other forms of common activity. If the condition goes untreated, it can cause major problems later in life, such as incontinence. The same nerves that cause the pain run to the bladder, colon, back legs and tail.

“In older dogs, it progresses,” Bush said. “I think we’ve all seen dogs that are really slow to move, and often what happens is people say the dog’s getting old.

“When you think about the muscle atrophy or ‘wasted’ older dog, that’s progression. Some of those dogs end up euthanized,” he said.

In Ken’s case, his handler, Pfc. Jamie Machiesky, was able to pick up on the subtle changes – something that wouldn’t have been possible if the pair didn’t spend so much time together.

Ken joined the Howard County Police Department a year ago and is trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. He is the youngest dog on the team, said Pfc. Joseph Gummo, canine trainer for the department.

Machiesky, a five-year member of the department, started working in the canine unit in May and has worked with Ken since then.

“He’s with me every day,” Machiesky said. “He stays at my home with me. I think if he wasn’t with me every day like that, we wouldn’t have picked up on [the injury].”

Machiesky said he and Gummo began to notice that Ken wouldn’t go up stairs or move his tail. They decided to take him in for magnetic resonance imaging to see what the problem was.

“We knew something was wrong; we just weren’t sure what it was,” Machiesky said.

The MRI showed a pinched nerve, which Bush says is similar to that in humans. Bush added that although the condition is common for all types of dogs, he sees it more in athletic dogs.

“This is such a common thing in people,” Bush said. “He basically got the same workup that a person would have.”

Bush performed the surgery June 26 at his office in Leesburg, Va. Had the condition not been corrected, Ken likely would not have been able to perform his functions as a police dog in a few years, Bush said.

“They need to perform certain tasks, and if they’re not 100 percent, it’s hard for them to do that,” Machiesky said.

Ken, who is also trained in criminal apprehension and building searches, must undergo a four-hour training session once a week, in addition to his normal duties.

“With working dogs, it’s real hard to tell when they’re in pain,” he said. “When we worked him, you couldn’t really tell.”

Gummo said the department was very supportive of the surgery, which cost about $5,000.

“Most of these injuries are career-ending,” Gummo said, noting that many police departments find it cheaper to retire the injured dogs and replace them.

“The department and chief really stepped up,” said Lt. Chuck Jacobs of the special operations unit, which includes the canine section. “It wasn’t even a question of doing the right thing.”

Gummo said that sometimes the condition is genetic and is common in police dogs. The animals are an important part of police work, especially in searching for narcotics and explosives.

The department uses six other dogs for police work, and last year, 350 apprehensions were made with them, Gummo said.

As for Ken, he has endured his suggested six-week recovery and is back on the job full time, Machiesky said.

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