• 59°

East Spencer Police continues fundraising efforts for K-9

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — It took Havoc, a 1-year-old mostly black Dutch shepherd, only seconds to retrieve an airsoft gun hidden in weeds in a field behind the East Spencer Police Department. The calm, easygoing dog is in training to be the department’s first police K-9.

The gun was empty, but finding weapons is one of the fundamentals Havoc is learning as he and his handler, East Spencer Police Officer Barry Seagraves, work toward state certification. Retired veteran law enforcement officer Mark Shue, who is now a Stanly County-based K-9 trainer, has been working with Seagraves and Havoc to get them ready for certifications and to make sure the pair are ready for regular patrol duties.

East Spencer residents and businesses and Seagraves himself have made a total of $10,404 in contributions. Seagraves estimates it will cost a total of $25,000, which will cover body armor for the dog, alarms and cooling systems in his patrol vehicle, as well as additional training for both Seagraves and Havoc.

One of the pieces of equipment Seagraves would like to be able to purchase is a system that would alert 911 if something were to happen to Seagraves as well as automatically roll down the windows and turn on his car’s lights and siren.

The money raised would cover a GPS tracking system to allow 911 dispatchers to locate the dog if a search and rescue takes the K-9 team deep into the woods, as well as food, insurance and vehicle maintenance.

Police Chief Sharon Hovis said Havoc will be more of an article and drug search K-9 and a cadaver dog. He also will go into the schools as an education tool.

Seagraves and Havoc train three times a week for at least three hours a day working on the fundamentals including obedience.

During training sessions, Seagraves places Havoc on and off a lead or long leash and works on tracking and finding articles anywhere from 50 yards to 300 yards away.

Havoc also learns bite techniques in which a person wears a thick bite sleeve and Seagraves gives commands to teach the dog to release. Seagraves has trained with the Concord Police Department and at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.

Shue said the ultimate goal is for Seagraves to have 100 percent control 100 percent of the time.

“Obedience is a building block. A lot of the times, they are loose and not on a lead, and he has to have voice control,” Shue said of Seagraves.

Seagraves and Shue looked at the dog, which came from a family in Chatham County who had intended for Havoc to provide protection. Seagraves said he had a gut feeling about the dog and almost missed a chance to get him. The two men met with the owner and the dog and initially left, but they turned around midway on their way home to get Havoc.

The dog was 7 months old when they first met him, and he was a clean slate.

“I saw a lot of potential. He had a good personality. He was even-tempered. I don’t worry about this dog,” Shue said of Havoc.

Shue has been a K-9 instructor since 1988, when he trained with the Salisbury Police Department.

Shue said there is still more to do, but Havoc has come a long way.

For more information about the East Spencer K-9 program and its Go Fund Me effort, visit https://www.gofundme.com/EastSpencerK9 or email eastspencerk9fund@outlook.com.

Comments

Education

UNCC chancellor talks about strengthening partnerships in Rowan County

Local

City adopts 2021-22 budget, discusses third quarter financial report from current fiscal year

Landis

Landis, Kannapolis discuss extraterritorial boundary change as 1,000-home subdivision planned

News

Bill retires many NC coal-fired plants, boosts renewables

High School

High school baseball: East escapes with eighth-inning homer; South also wins in first round

Elections

Board of Elections moves forward with purchase of new voting equipment, software

Sports

‘New energy’ coming from QB Darnold

News

Museum loses contract over event deemed racially insensitive

News

NC tax revenue soars, $6.5B windfall predicted by mid-2023

News

Police: Grandmother of man who shot at officers found dead

Crime

Blotter: Gold Hill man charged with statutory rape

Crime

Man charged with killing 28-year-old found dead in crashed car

Crime

68-year-old woman identified as Jackson Street murder victim

Crime

Man arrested in Jacksonville for Salisbury murder

Local

Rowan-Salisbury Schools finalizes normal, five-day schedule for fall

Local

Council to vote on budget, consider permit for child care center near downtown

Landis

Landis adopts budget with reduction in residential electric rates, no tax increases

Local

Political Notebook: Budd campaign touts boost in voter support after Trump endorsement

Local

Seventh Dragon Boat Festival scheduled July 24

News

NC rights groups say GOP bills impede voting access

Local

Sgt. Shane Karriker’s funeral procession travels through downtown Salisbury

Crime

Blotter: June 14

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will front entrance to courthouse reopen?

Coronavirus

As COVID-19 cases wane, vaccine-lagging areas still at risk