$20K grant going to the sheriff dogs | NevadaAppeal.com

$20K grant going to the sheriff dogs

Nick Coltrain

Thanks to a $20,000 grant, the Carson City sheriff hopes his K-9 unit won’t miss a sniff – even as a veteran dog enters early retirement this summer.

The sheriff’s office accepted the grant Thursday at the Board of Supervisors meeting from the Helen Close Charitable Foundation of Reno. The grant is large enough to pay for up to two new police dogs to replace the one that is retiring.

“The Helen Close foundation was very, very generous in giving us this grant,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said.

Furlong said he hopes to have a new drug-detecting dog and a dual-purpose drug-and-patrol dog to be on the streets by October, with one ready to take over when K-9 Troy retires this summer.

“With the dogs working on the streets, it saves us hundreds of man-hours,” said Sgt. Brian Humphrey, who runs the K-9 unit and drug-focused Special Enforcement Team. “(They) can smell the odors of the drugs so much quicker” than deputies could search by hand.

“They definitely pay for themselves,” K-9 Deputy Jimmy Surratt added.

Humphrey said the goal with the extra K-9 unit is to have one working on every shift with another one working specifically with the SET deputies. Now, when the team suspects the presence of drugs, they need to pull a patrolling K-9 unit off the streets to assist them.

Just Wednesday, Troy, alerted on an SUV that had been pulled over, leading to the discovery of more than a pound of marijuana and four felony arrests.

“If they had said no (to a search), without the dog, they would have been down the road,” said Humphrey, who made the arrests.

Troy, an 8-year-old Labrador retriever, has sniffed out more than 47 pounds of marijuana, 18 pounds of methamphetamine, 38 grams of heroin, 8 grams of cocaine, hundreds of pieces of paraphernalia and more than $13,000 from drug dealers.

He was brought to the force in 2007, but medical issues are forcing his early retirement. Troy suffered a seizure over Thanksgiving, a mysterious lump has formed on one of his legs, and his energy level is drained, said his handler, Deputy Jeff Pullen.