LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office just added two new members to its team, and they have four legs.
The Sheriff’s Office received two K-9s from Alpha Pack in Springfield Township for free.
Jimmy and Diva were certified on June 15. These two K-9s are joining the team’s oldest K-9, Hunter.
They are meant to protect, track and search.
Sheriff Brian McLaughlin talked about how his deputies were chosen to become handlers.
“They went up to Alpha Pack, and he put them through a day of training and a day of testing, both written and activities with the dogs,” McLaughlin said.
After Alpha Pack and Sheriff McLaughlin decided which deputies would best fit as handlers, each deputy went through six weeks of training with the K-9s.
Deputies Jonathan Kerchofer and Luke Skidmore are the new handlers
McLaughlin said there is a special relationship between the dogs and their handlers.
“There is a definite bond between the handler and the dog, and it is not easy for somebody who is not the handler to get the dog to do something they are supposed to be doing,” he said.
He said the addition of the K-9s will bring a great benefit to the team.
“The tracking ability within itself, along with narcotics detection, is nothing any human is able to accomplish,” he said.
Sheriff McLaughlin said the small amount of odor it takes for a dog to pick up on is incredible, and the dogs are doing a fantastic job.
McLaughlin said he expects both deputies to do a fantastic job with the dogs, and he is excited for this new asset to the team.