Newest dog joins Douglas County Sheriffs |

Newest dog joins Douglas County Sheriffs

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office shopped around for a year before they hired the newest member of the force.

Kilo, a 2-year-old male German shepherd, was purchased from the Mar-Ken International K-9 Kennels in Santa Cruz for only $6,000 – about $3,000 less than the average cost of a patrol-trained police dog.

Sgt. Lance Modispacher said the department didn’t want to waste the money donated to the department to buy K-9s.

“We were trying to be as thrifty as possible. Lt. (Mike) Biaggini shopped for a year to come up with that price,” he said.

The cost of food and a kennel has also been covered by community donations.

About $30,000 has been donated and raised in the past three years to purchase Kilo and Cindy, who joined the force last fall.

Some money also came from drug money and other drug seizures the K-9s have helped find.

Dr. Robert Gorrindo of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital has donated his services to care for the dogs. Gary Vowles, owner of Eastern Sierra Feed supplied dog food, Bing Construction donated the materials to pour a concrete slab and Nevada Fencing provided the chain-link fencing for the kennel.

Deputy Joe Duffy has been assigned as Deputy Kilo’s partner and companion. Kilo will live with Duffy and his wife, Deputy Teresa Duffy.

The Duffys are truly a law enforcement family, including Joe’s brother Robert, who is also a DCSO deputy. Teresa and Joe moved here from Los Angeles County four years ago.

Thursday was Kilo’s first day on the job and Duffy said he was loving it already.

The patrol car has been outfitted with a special wooden floor with a sunken water dish. It also is equipped with fans and tinted windows to keep him cool in the summer.

Duffy has a remote switch to allow him to open the rear door of the patrol car from the front seat or even when he is not near the car.

At the end of the month, both deputies will go for official training for four weeks in Santa Cruz. Kilo already knows 15 commands in German.

He and Duffy will train together to learn such techniques as crowd control, building searches and chasing escaped prisoners.

Duffy, who had to interview with K-9 handlers for the honor of being Kilo’s partner, said Kilo will be most useful when a prisoner escapes from police custody.

“He will be a great help when people run. Before we would have to have the prison K-9 respond if they were available or get one from El Dorado County. Getting someone to respond with a dog was always a struggle,” Duffy said. “A couple of weeks ago a guy bailed out of a car and ran over a snow bank and he was just gone. Now we would be able to send Kilo out and he could track him.”

Duffy and Kilo will be on call 24-hours a day for such searches.

Although Duffy, who already owns a Rottweiler and a Labrador, knows training Kilo is a job that will take a lot of personal time, he said he still jumped at the chance.

“I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a little kid. I know I will have to donate a lot of my own time to train him and I’m willing to do that,” he said.