The expectations were all there. Ruby, a donated Bloodhound for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit would be used in drug sniffing and people tracking whenever the need arose.
She underwent the training and was matched up with handler Deputy Megan King to start her career.
There was only one problem. Ruby simply did not want to work. After several weeks it became obvious Ruby would rather be an ordinary dog than to actually become an active part of law enforcement.
To confirm Officer King’s conclusion was correct, Ruby was evaluated by outside trainers who confirmed the dog’s lack of participation in crime fighting.
"She’s a sweetie, you can’t help but lover her," said Deputy King. Even though she was disappointed in Ruby’s lackluster performance review, she opted to keep the canine as a family pet, paying the County a $1 fee for the adoption.
Ruby now joins Megan, her husband and two other household inhabitants a German Short Hair Pointer and Ariedale Pointer.
So, why would a deputy want to partner with a dog? "I love dogs and it was something I always wanted to do", added Deputy King.
The Wayne County K-9 corps is a completely taxpayer free division, relying on contributions and fundraisers to finance the program. Currently there are three German Shepherds on the force, one
Officer King will now be trained with another bloodhound, aged between 18 months and two years in the upcoming weeks that will be fully certified for the task at hand.
The new dog will join the three German Shepherds, Miso, Tomi and Henry, paired off with Officers Joe Roeland, Mike Yates and Justin Lucia. Another K-9. Romeo, handled by Officer Caitlin Fitzgerald, is a black Lab, used as a comfort dog with victims and while interviewing children.
The K-9 crew receives free food donations by Purina Pet Foods and normally become part of a handler’s family.
K-9 dogs can either be trained from the puppy stage from scratch, or be dogs a year, or more older fully trained, then meshed with the officers with additional training.
Officer King expects she will be exposed to several Bloodhounds to find the match that works, when she travels to the North Carolina K-9 training school.
The fully trained dogs cost upwards of $10,000. Normally, the Sheriff’s Office has a small window to return, or exchange a dog that is not working out, but Ruby, who was 2 1/2 to three years old, was a donated to the Sheriff’s Office and sent out for training.
As for Ruby, Officer King quipped "She’s just happy not having to go to work."