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509-448-4480 www.southcarevet.com Suzanne Coulson, DVM Greg Benoit, DVM, MS Susan Wada, DVM


Dedicated to compassionate comprehensive veterinary medical care.


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2011


You wouldn’t want to put an officer in an attic or corner, not knowing what is there to meet them. You have to treat the dogs as a tool, which is hard when you’re a handler and you have to put them in a dangerous situation, but it is better to put a dog in there than a person,” says Jensen. For most people, the thought of putting their pet in harm’s way ranks right up there with putting their children in a dangerous situation: it is unthinkable. “You can’t think of it that way when you deploy your dog,” says Kootenai County Sheriff Deputy Jason Shaw, who has been a K-9 handler since 2002, and works with Bari, a Dutch Shepard from Holland. “You have to know that this could be the last time. They are your best friend, but they are also a tool and a resource.” As difficult as that may be to swallow, in reality,


K-9 2915 E Palouse Hwy South Hill Spokane WA 99223


it is a state of mind all law enforcement must put into place everyday. “It’s easier for us to think that way because that is what we have to do with our best friends, everyday,” says Spokane Police Department Sergeant Troy Teigen, who works with Rico, a five year old Belgian Malinois from the Netherlands, who is a former military dog and was also trained in explosive detection by the US Navy SEALS. Teigen knows everyday a police officer goes to work, they are putting their lives and the lives of their co-workers at risk in order to defend and protect us. The K-9s are in the same boat. “We won’t send them in on a suicide mission,


though,” says Hamilton, who has worked with Leo (Leonidas) for two and a half years, after being partnered with another dog for the previous five years. Leo is a four-year old German Shepard from the Czech Republic who has been working with the Spokane Police Department since he was 16 months old. For a K-9 unit dog, whenever their handler


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Hours: Sunday 9am - 6pm Monday - Tuesday 8am - 6 pm Wednesday - Thurs Closed Friday-Saturday 8am - 6 pm Last self serve needs to be in by 5pm.


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is working, they are working, too. For the most part, K-9 units work the night shift, defending our community from 7:00 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. “In the summer, we can’t work them in this heat, and there are less people and distractions at night, and it is better for training,” says Jensen. Jensen, who is in the process of becoming a


master trainer, and who recently helped train a new recruit dog for the department, named Moe, says that Washington State Code requires 400 initial hours of training for a K-9 unit dog, and an additional 16 hours per month of follow-up training. “Here in Spokane, we’re lucky to double that,” he says. “We get about 32 hours of training per month. We get a ton of training here.” While it doesn’t count toward their training hours, Jensen notes that it is easy for most handlers to slip some training in at home, off the clock. “You are working on training at home, with tennis balls, during play time.” When it comes to Wednesday trainings at the police academy, there is one rule Jensen stresses. “We always end on a positive,” he says. When it


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