Carson City K9 dogs being given a safer ride |

Carson City K9 dogs being given a safer ride

Carson City Deputy Darin Riggin and his K9 partner Tarzan show off one of the features in with their new Havis insert: the ability for Tarzan to acces the front of the cab to sit with his handler. The K9 unit received these new devices to better protect the dogs while on patrol.
Taylor Pettway/Nevada Appeal | Taylor Pettway/Nevada Appeal

The pooches with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office K9 unit can ride a little safer now thanks to a community of generous donors.

The K9 unit just installed one of their cars with a new Havis insert, a device that acts as more of a cage for the dog in order to keep them safer while on patrol. Deputy Darin Riggin and his K9 partner Tarzan recently had their patrol vehicle outfitted with this new device.

“It is primarily for protection for the K9,” Riggin said.

The insert features include a roll cage built to tolerate crash impact in case of an accident; proper heat alarm instillations so the vehicle will either turn on a fan, alert the handler or automatically release the door to keep the dog from overheating; has adjustable steps to help the dogs get in and out of the vehicle easier; automatic door poppers for emergency deployment of the dog; and a front partition so the dog can access the cab of the vehicle.

“Having these inserts is just extra reassurance because Tarzan is my partner and a part of my family so it is good to know he is as safe as possible doing what he does,” Riggin said.

And the two partners know how dangerous an unequipped vehicle can be for the K9. Last year, the two were involved in a crash when chasing a subject, and though Tarzan wasn’t hurt, the situation could have ended much worse.

“These new cages just alleviate the stress of me having to worry about him,” Riggin said. “And it helps serve the community because it cradles the investment of the dog to keep them safe.”

The inserts are designed specifically for each vehicle, so as the Sheriff’s Office’s fleet ages, the cages will need to be replaced in the K9 vehicles.

“We need to get new inserts with the changing vehicles because they are custom designed to that vehicle,” Riggin said. “And for us, Tarzan would chew through the equipment so it also helps improve the vehicle and help keep it in better condition.”

With each insert totaling about $2,500, they’re not a cheap investment for the department. However, the K9 Unit was able to purchase the new insert because of community donations to the department. Some of the money came from the Carson City K9 T-shirts the department sold, while much came from community donations. The department received a check for $2,000 from Carson City Toyota Scion this week.

“We just wanted to give a big thank you to the community for the donations because it shows that the community really supports us and our dogs and what we do,” Riggin said. “We really appreciate all the donations from the community and the generosity of the citizens. Every dollar we get goes to the dogs and their needs.”

The K9 Unit is still selling T-shirts for $20. To purchase one, visit the front counter at the Sheriff’s Office at 911 E. Musser St.