Joint effort from local orgs helps sheriff’s office acquire new K9

Published 12:10 am Friday, July 28, 2023

Thanks to a donation and a grant, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has purchased Magnolia or “Maggie,” the department’s first bloodhound in a quarter century.

The Salisbury N.C. Kennel Club donated $10,000 on July 20 to purchase the dog and vehicle equipment.

And AKC Reunite’s “Adopt a K9 Cop” program offers a 75 percent matching grant when a local AKC club donates. So Rowan County Sheriff Travis Allen applied and was awarded a $7,500 grant from AKC Reunite. AKC Reunite is the largest pet microchip identification and recovery service provider in the United States.

In a release, a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson issued a “great big thank you” to the Salisbury NC Kennel Club, AKC Reunite, Roundabout Grill and Sheriff’s Benevolent Fund.

“Thank you for partnering with us,” the release said. “Our motto here at the office is ‘Serving our community today for a better tomorrow.’ Your kind gifts will definitely help us achieve and live up to our motto.”

Salisbury NC Kennel Club President Bob Busby and President and CEO of AKC Reunite Tom Sharpe presented the donations to Allen.

Maggie and her handler started training at Highland Canine Training in Harmony, along with two other new K9s that the sheriff’s office is putting into service.

Rowan County Capt. David Earnhardt previously said that Magnolia is a perfect fit for a recently formed task force that addresses specific emergencies. Typically, one thinks of a German Shepherd when it comes to police K9s, but in addition to the skills Magnolia brings, it is likely she will be more approachable in both appearance and demeanor for the public. And a new division can make particularly good use of the bloodhound’s innate talents.

“The county just started a task force … for any type of mass casualty type event,” Earnhardt said recently. “We would also do search and rescue for missing people or people who have wandered off, perhaps with neurological disorders. That was the push behind the bloodhound.”

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