Fuzzy pup joins the force | NevadaAppeal.com

Fuzzy pup joins the force

F.T. Norton

Thanks to the generous donation of a Carson City woman, the Sheriff’s Department’s K9 division just grew by a pup.

Cool Hand Joe Luke — or just Luke, for short — an 18-month-old black Labrador from England is the newest addition to Carson City’s successful narcotics dog program.

Donated by 81-year-old Irene Hanson two weeks ago after nine months of coordination, Luke is in the final stages of his training with handler Deputy Glenn Fair.

Fair, a two-year veteran of the department, was selected among four other candidates to handle Luke.

Prior to joining the department, Fair was a corrections officer at the Nevada State Prison where he handled a tracking and attack dog.

Luke has a sunnier disposition than Fair’s previous partner. He is a narcotics detection dog, and the duo will hit the streets Sunday night.

“I can’t wait,” Fair said Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to being able to find some of the drugs and get to some of the things we couldn’t get to in the past. Before someone would tell us to go ahead and search the car when they knew it was hidden in places only a dog’s gonna find. Now I’ve got a dog.”

Luke is the third working dog in Fair’s family. His wife Michelle’s two Pomeranians are therapy dogs with Love on a Leash, a program that brings pets to senior citizens retirement homes and convalescent centers.

“We don’t mean to make our dogs work,” he said laughing. “It just turned out that way.”

Fair and Luke join deputies Brian Humphrey and Tahoe in the department’s K9 Division. Tahoe’s been top dog since the retirement of Scout in April 2001. Scout, who was handled by Deputy Rebecca Zuniga-Brown, was the department’s first dog and served seven loyal years on the force.

Intelligence Officer T.M. Casey said the next move for the division would be to raise the $8,000 needed to purchase a patrol dog.

“I enjoy having a partner in the car. I enjoy having someone else to work with,” Fair said. “I love him to death. I made him my buddy and my partner real quick and he’s just totally taken to us. He’s part of the family.”