Sherman County Sheriff Joe Powell purchased a K9 with his own money Mollie Bryant reported for The Amarillo Globe News.
Powell’s concerns about drug trafficking along U.S. Highways 287 and 54 led to the decision, as well as the fact that K9s work best with one handler. If Powell left office, the county could be left with an ineffective dog.
Powell bought Ziggy, a 4-year-old Dutch Shepherd, from a former Fritch Police Department K9 handler. Ziggy was certified on Nov. 20 in narcotics detection and tracking.
Ziggy’s kennel and 75 percent of Powell and Ziggy’s training was paid for by the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office forfeiture funds.
Smith said although some people may think smaller agencies don’t need K9s, the majority of his community supports it, and the dog has been a huge asset to his department.
K9s have proven their worth in Oldham County. Castor, was purchased by Oldham County Sheriff’s Office with forfeiture funds. Chief Deputy Brent Warden said, “Every time we’ve gotten a dog, it has paid for itself and more within three months on average,” he said, adding that Castor replenished asset forfeiture funds within three weeks, after a money laundering case in 2009. “It’s allowed us to purchase higher-grade equipment for our officers and for our sheriff’s office as a whole.”