Archive for August, 2008
I couldn’t help but laugh at this a little…
Deputy: Man jumps into patrol car
They grapple in street before police dog bites suspect
BY RUTH LIAO • STATESMAN JOURNAL
A man allegedly high on mushrooms jumped headfirst into a Marion County sheriff’s patrol car and fought with the deputy until a police dog intervened, officials said.
About 3 a.m. Friday, Senior Deputy Jerry Wollenschlaeger came upon a black Jeep Cherokee parked near Hawthorne Avenue SE and State Street.
A man identified as Evan David Thomas Adams, 19, of West Salem was walking away from the Jeep. Thinking the man was having car trouble, Wollenschlaeger pulled up alongside him and rolled down the patrol car’s passenger window to ask him what was wrong.
“He seemed like a nice guy, and the next thing you know, he’s jumping into the patrol car,” Wollenschlaeger said.
The man lunged across toward Wollenschlaeger, who unfastened his seat belt, opened his driver’s side door and pinned the man down.
Wollenschlaeger said the two shared a short conversation that went something like this:
“What’s the matter with you?”
“I’m high on mushrooms, dude.”
The man continued to struggle, and the fight spilled out of the vehicle and into the southbound lanes of Hawthorne Avenue. Meanwhile, Wollenschlaeger’s police dog, Yo, remained enclosed in the backseat.
While still holding on to the man, Wollenschlaeger reached for his radio-operated door opener to let out Yo and gave orders to bite the man.
Salem police Cpl. Don Parise arrived to help, and the man was placed in handcuffs.
Adams was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer, interfering with a police animal, second-degree criminal mischief, driving under the influence of intoxicants and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, said Undersheriff Jason Myers, a sheriff’s spokesman.
The vehicle belonged to Adams’ father; the unlawful entry into a motor vehicle charge was for the deputy’s patrol car, Myers said.
Adams told deputies that he was under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms, Myers said.
“He said he just didn’t want to drive anymore and got out and decided to go for a walk,” Wollenschlaeger said. “He knew he had to talk to somebody.”
Adams suffered dog bites to his legs and minor scrapes to his face and was taken to Santiam Memorial Hospital in Stayton, Myers said. Adams then was booked into the Marion County jail.
Wollenschlaeger, a 10-year veteran, suffered minor bruises and sprains from the incident. Worse for the wear was his AR-15 patrol rifle in his patrol car, which he found later was jammed from the scuffle.
“It’s a little bit of like, wow, I was just trying to help someone and check if they were OK, and ‘boom,'” he said.
rliao@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 589-6941
BY GABRIELLA SOUZA • GSOUZA@NEWS-PRESS.COM • AUGUST 25, 2008
It isn’t their wagging tails, panting tongues or floppy ears that make them special.
It’s the pounds of drugs they’ve seized, bombs they’ve sniffed out and the people they’ve protected.
“They’re able to do things people can’t do,” said Sgt. Frank Glover, who trains dogs in the Lee County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 unit.
The unit has been around since the early 1970s. It has 23 dogs that specialize in one of the following: patrols, bomb sniffing or narcotics.
Training for the dogs can take five to eight months, depending on what area the dog is going into, Glover said. Bomb-sniffing dogs are required to have a few more weeks of training, he said.
“You develop a huge bond with the dog because of the time you spend at work and at home,” Glover said.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office retired K-9, Buddie. (KINFAY MOROTI/news-press.com)
Working with people in jail every day might make a person a little anxious.
That’s what happened to Buddie, a 9-year-old pure-bred black Labrador who worked at the Lee County Jail in downtown Fort Myers.
Seven years of work took its toll on Buddie and he began to freak when he saw inmates.
“He worked a little too long,” said Sgt. Paul Kelly, Buddie’s owner and handler.
Now, Buddie’s anxiety has turned into a hunger for attention. It was that affection that drew Kelly to Buddie, who is the one and only dog he handled.
Buddie constantly sticks his muzzle in your hand to pet him and if that doesn’t work, he’s not above rolling onto his back, begging to be scratched.
“He’s just a spoiled old baby,” Kelly said.
Kelly said Buddie’s post-retirement activities include chasing a tennis ball and eating — his favorite food is peanut butter.
“If you went and got a bone right now, the drool would be going,” Kelly said.
• Buddie spent seven years with the sheriff’s office, working in narcotics and at the jail. He is trained to sniff out ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine.
• Buddie was known to go on narcotics searches at area schools. He once found marijuana in a North Fort Myers High School locker.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office retired K-9, Niko. (KINFAY MOROTI/news-press.com)
Nicco has come a long way from eight years ago, when the yellow lab was found tied to the door of a Cape Coral veterinary office.
For the first two weeks, Nicco wouldn’t let anyone touch him. But eventually he came around, turning into the lovable, affectionate dog that Cpl. Mark Nelson and his family have grown to love.
“Out of all the dogs Mark has worked with, he has made the biggest transformation,” said Nelson’s wife, Adalberta.
Now, Nicco, who was sheriff’s dog No. 5 for Nelson, spends his days protecting the house, although he doesn’t bark when someone comes to the door. His other duties include serving as a jungle gym for the Nelsons’ grandchildren and company for Adalberta Nelson.
Nicco still might be a little wary of you at first.
But once you’ve found his sweet spot, you’re golden.
“Scratch above his butt and you’ll be friends forever,” said Mark Nelson.
• Nicco retired in June after eight years in the unit.
• As a dog on the bomb squad, Nicco ensured the safety of President George Bush, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office retired K-9, Orson. (KINFAY MOROTI/news-press.com)
Sgt. Ed Ahlquist feels guilty every day when he leaves for work.
Until this summer, Ahlquist started the day getting into a K-9 patrol car with Orson, his chocolate labrador partner, at his side.
But Ahlquist has taken a job with the sheriff’s office’s training division, which means Orson sits by the door, waiting for his partner to get home.
“It was tough to give him up,” he said.
He was named Orson by a breeder who had tried to make him into a show dog.
“But he couldn’t sit still enough,” Ahlquist said.
Orson became as much a family dog as Ahlquist’s partner. Ahlquist’s daughter even learned to walk by hoisting herself up using Orson’s ears.
Now, Orson has become somewhat of a retired athlete, swimming in the Ahlquists’ pool and going on runs with Ahlquist.
Ahlquist said he never expected to be part of the K-9 unit, but it has worked out in his favor.
“It was the best decision I’d ever made,” he said.
“After a month and a half, I realized he was the perfect dog.”
• Orson once seized 4,000 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop.
• Orson and his partner Ed Ahlquist received a narcotics unit citation in 2005 after seizing 100,000 Ecstacy pills.
• Orson was a sheriff’s dog for almost seven years.
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I feel terrible for Rutland, Vermont police officer Frank Post who lost his K9 partner King Luther recently during a high speed chase just a few dyas ago. Apparently, King Bricks was the only police dog Rutland police dept had. Fortunately, officer Post was given a new German Shepherd to start training. I’m sure King Bricks is helping officer Post with the loss of his partner.
Rutland police K-9 handler Frank Post is handling the loss of his partner and proclaimed family member King Luther the only way he knows how: He’s training a new dog.
Two days after Luther, a 3-year-old German shepherd who represented the city’s only active police dog, was killed during a high-speed pursuit that crisscrossed Rutland County, Post and the department found a new German shepherd that will begin training with Post at the Vermont Police Academy on Monday.
Named “King Bricks” the 80-pound, 15-month-old shepherd was donated to the city by two police officers living in Bridport.
While still in mourning from the loss of his partner, Post made it clear the day after Luther died that he hoped to begin training a new dog as soon as possible.
“It will be tough, but it’s what I want to do,” he said. “I decided early on with Luther that I wanted to finish my career as a police officer working with dogs.”
Bricks comes from a long line of police dogs. His father “Scout” serves at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department while his grandfather “Zeus” is a former police dog in Burlington.
Normally, Rutland police keep two canine units active. But the recent retirement of “King Riley,” whose successor “Otto,” a Doberman pincher, won’t begin training until later this year, has left the department with no four-legged support.
City Police Chief Anthony Bossi and Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras said they’re anxious to see the vacant position filled.
“I’d like to have one on every shift,” Louras said referring to the four police shifts that rotate weekly.
The canine units, he said, make other officers’ lives safer by going into places and situations that would be much riskier for their human counterparts. The fear they put into suspects who might otherwise put up a fight also spares officers undo injuries, he said.
“They save a lot of potential workers’ compensation,” he said.
Since Luther’s death, a number of people have offered to donate money to the city to train a new dog and one anonymous source — the same person who contributed $10,000 to the city to pay for police overtime in February — offered to pay for the purchase of a new dog.
That offer proved unneeded since the dog was donated and Louras said he has declined donations to train a new dog, which he expects will cost about $7,500.
“I assured people that there’s no reason why private funds should be used to ensure the continuation of a city service,” he said, adding that the city had the money to train the new dog within its contingency fund.
Fort Polk, La. –
Soldiers and their K-9 counterparts have been working toward certification during the past week at Fort Polk.
The teams are paired up and train together for certification before being deployed. The teams certifying this week were performing duties including explosive detection, drug detection and apprehension. The trainers and their dogs work exclusively together so they know each other in a way that enables them to perform flawlessly in their execution of duties.
“The longer you are together (soldier and k-9) the stronger your bond becomes,” said Spc. Christopher Hallisy said. “It’s like being married, the longer you are together, the more you learn about each other and you become a better team.”
The soldiers who were going through the certification process explained that they begin training with their dogs when the dogs are about eighteen months old. The first few weeks are spent building a rapport with their dog.
By Leader Photo by Kelly Moore Spc. Katrina Kurz along with Spike are working toward their certification as a Military Working Dog team. Once they are certified they will be eligible for deployment.
“We spend time playing, washing and walking our dogs,” said Spc. Timothy Conley.
Soon after trust between the soldier and dog has been built, the pair begin training in earnest. The dogs are trained to detect bombs and drugs and to apprehend suspects at the order of their trainer.
Once, Hallisy’s dog became ill in Iraq, he said. Hallisy performed CPR on his partner until the dog could be removed to a hospital for rehabilitation before being returned back to duty.
Dogs and their trainers do not stay together for their entire career, said one soldier, who explained that the dogs are assigned to a unit, like a piece of equipment. When trainers are given orders to transfer to another unit or installation, they have to leave their dogs behind and start the training process over with another dog.
Hallisy had to leave his dog behind when he moved to another installation, but will take a piece of him where ever he goes: on Hallisy’s left hand is an interesting tattoo.
“I had him put his paw on an ink pad then to paper,” Hallisy explained. “Then I had it tattooed to my hand.”
By Leader Photo by Kelly Moore Spc. Timothy Conley along with his dog spent much of Tuesday morning working through the paces for certification. They are pictured as they search vehicles for bombs.
Though the dogs are working dogs with missions that have saved countless lives, the relationship between dog and trainer is vitally important.
Spc. Katrina Kurz and Spike are one such team. She and Spike have been training together for a mere month, but with hard work and patience they were ready to certify.
“It is all about teamwork,” she said. “We work together. The hardest part of the job is learning to be a team. They don’t speak the same language as we do, so we have to learn what they are telling us.” Spc. Rachelle Schmidt has been working with three-month-old Amigo, a Belgian Malinous. She said that in the beginning it was often frustrating because Amigo, nicknamed “Eeyore,” is slow and never gets into any hurry.
“I am a pretty fast paced person but Amigo just goes at his own pace, no matter what,” said Schmidt. “For me the most difficult part of the training has been to slow down and learn to read his body language.”
The dogs are trained on a reward system. During Tuesday’s event each time the dog was successful, it was allowed to play with its kong, a toy the dogs are allowed to play with only when they perform specific tasks.
The certification of the teams will take more than a week. The teams will have to locate bombs and drugs and clear buildings of people who may be in danger, searching warehouses and luggage.
They will also perform in obedience training, including on and off leash and an obstacle course.
Throughout the training the teamwork between the dogs and their handlers will be graded to ensure the communication between both.
“This is a great job, we get paid to play with dogs all day,” said Schmidt.
This article can be viewed by clicking here:Leesville Daily Leader
Canines assigned to Frankfurt airport to fight illegal trade in animals
FRANKFURT, Germany – Getting any living thing but yourself past border police at Frankfurt Airport just got tougher.
Amy, a German shepherd, and Uno, a Labrador retriever, have joined the team at one of Europe’s busiest airports — the first two dogs in Germany trained to sniff out live animals, plants or derivatives or remains of them.
The three-year-olds’ debut is a joint effort between police and the World Wildlife Fund to help stop the illegal but lucrative trade in rare species — which the organization estimates is a $293 billion annual business.
“Dogs simply have the better nose,” Volker Homes, the head of species conservation with the WWF’s German branch, said Tuesday. They can detect things that emit only a faint odor “and are therefore ideal for the fast checking of luggage, mail and even full containers.”
Sniffing out an iguana
Police trainers showed off Amy’s talents — letting her out of her cage to run around a row of 15 suitcases, in one of which they had hidden a live iguana borrowed from Frankfurt Zoo.
After sniffing all the luggage carefully, the dog leapt on a gray suitcase in the middle of the row and started barking enthusiastically, tail wagging. Amy stood by as attendants freed the iguana from inside the case.
“After working with border police dogs for 30 years, I’m always surprised at what they can smell,” said Dieter Keller, the main dog trainer for the regional border police.
Keller said that in a test last week, Amy’s partner Uno found about 4.5 pounds of caviar in a suitcase arriving from Eastern Europe. Non-licensed harvest of sturgeon caviar has been restricted since 1998.
Amy and Uno — who join 30 other specialist dogs at the airport trained to sniff out everything from explosives to tobacco and cash — have been through a 10-week, $30,500 training program.
They have been taught to focus on 16 specific smells including feathers, leathers, reptiles, caviar, coral, ivory and bone. Keller wasn’t immediately able to say how much luggage an animal-sniffing dog could cover, but said a drug dog can get through about 2,000 bags in an eight-hour shift.
Illegal trade threatens species’ survival
Police will be trying out the dogs for several months before deciding whether to bring in more four-legged detectives.
“I have a mixed heart about it,” Keller said. “On the one hand I hope the dogs are very successful and make a lot of finds. On the other hand I hope they send a signal to all the people that are thinking of smuggling, discouraging them from coming through Frankfurt Airport.”
WWF’s Homes said he hopes the dogs will help prevent incidents of, for example, tourists bringing home an orchid or a crocodile bag from their vacation.
“Smuggling is a serious danger for the survival of threatened species,” he said.
Even without the specialist dogs, border police at the airport intercepted protected species — or products derived from them — in 561 cases last year.
They confiscated 6,000 live animals; more than 100,000 living plants; and another 5,350 animals that either died on their journey or were already dead and preserved.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Wounded Iraq vets find comfort in dog training
By LINDA LOMBARDI
For The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Rico the pit bull mix is bursting with adolescent energy when he’s led into a training center by Army Capt. Lawrence Minnis.
But as soon as Minnis reaches for a treat jar, the dog is focused on Minnis’ face, sitting before he’s asked.
Rico is learning to sit and walk on a leash, but the training isn’t just for Rico _ it’s for Capt. Minnis, too. He’s one of the first service members in rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to take a series of courses in dog training and behavior being offered to them by the Washington Humane Society.
The courses are designed to give a strong enough foundation for a future career with dogs, but that’s not the only benefit. Just spending time with animals is therapeutic, and helping others is even better. By giving the dogs a break from the shelter and teaching them behaviors that will make them more adoptable, the service members give something back, too.
The idea for the program began when Lisa LaFontaine, the Washington Humane Society’s president and CEO, arrived last August and heard that volunteer dog-walkers were bumping into soldiers from Walter Reed, which is just a few blocks up the street. The soldiers were drawn to the dogs, so LaFontaine saw the perfect opportunity.
Air Force Reserves Senior Airman Diane Lopes, 38, of Tampa, Fla., gives a treat to Rico, a pit bull mix, at the end of a dog training class in Washington, Thursday, July 31, 2008. Lopes, who was wounded while serving in Iraq in Sept. 2007, is involved in a dog training program for wounded soldiers at the Washington Humane Society. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
“One of my real beliefs in this work is that in addition to adopting animals out and protecting animals from cruelty, it’s important to have programs that bring people and animals together in meaningful ways,” she says.
There’s now a waiting list for the program, says Sara Meisinger, who oversees an occupational therapy placement program for returning service members in rehabilitation at Walter Reed. Her own certified therapy dog, Sky, is napping beneath the desk, and she understands the pull that dogs have on people.
“People are in my office all day when she’s here,” she says.
Training director Kevin Simpson, who teaches the course, says that the students’ enthusiasm is obvious _ they come early and stay late. Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Diane Lopes, 38, plans to volunteer with her local shelter when she returns home to Tampa, Fla.
Lopes, who was wounded in Kirkuk when a rocket blast launched from outside the base exploded behind her, says that just being with the dogs helps her.
“It has a calming effect. I look forward to coming here every week and seeing the dogs,” she says. “It keeps your mind off the crummy things in life.”
Lopes, a police officer in civilian life, plans to use her new skills on her Pomeranian, which she got shortly before being deployed. “I was bad because I knew I was being deployed, so I let him do anything he wanted,” she confesses. “This will be good for my dog.”
Although service members in rehabilitation typically take educational and internship opportunities offered by government agencies, Meisinger said the humane society program seemed like a perfect fit for Lopes and the other two service members currently enrolled.
A new group will start shortly. They can look forward to eight weeks of hands-on work with shelter dogs and the “regulars,” dogs belonging to shelter staff, who come along so the students can work with dogs who have varied levels of prior training. The course is no walk in the park _ it includes lectures on theory and behavior and a 60-item test at the end.
Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Foster, a 25-year-old from Wichita, Kan., calls the course “an awesome opportunity.” He enjoys feeling like he’s doing something for the dogs and the shelter: “Having us around is like having extra volunteers,” he says.
Foster, whose right leg was amputated below the knee, says he’d like to eventually work with special needs children.
“Children with special needs will be able to relate to me better than a person who’s whole,” he says. “They’ll see me and think, ‘He’s got only one leg and he did it.'”In the meantime Foster is interested in becoming a police officer _ possibly a K9 officer, using the experience he’s getting.
Foster especially enjoys spending time with Reese, one of the “regulars,” who reminds him of his dog that passed away recently. Lopes, the Pomeranian owner, is drawn to the little dogs, of course. And pit bull fan Minnis’ favorite is Rico.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Foster, 25, of Wichita, Kansas, left, and Air Force Reserves Senior Airman Diane Lopes, 38, of Tampa, Fla., walk Manny over an obstacle in Washington on Thursday July 31, 2008. Foster and Lopes, who were both wounded while serving in Iraq in Sept. 2007, are involved in a dog training program for wounded soldiers at the Washington Humane Society. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
“It goes along with the therapy I’m doing _ it’s another challenge,” says Minnis.
Minnis is considering the possibility of opening a dog training school or other dog-related business. He says that training dogs reinforces what he’s learned about working with people.
“Being an officer in the Army, you have to be a leader,” he explains. “You have to do the same thing there _ motivate them, get them to do what they need to do and enjoy it.”
(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)