Putnam County's K-9 Unit lending a helping paw - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Putnam County's K-9 Unit lending a helping paw

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The K-9 Unit has also proved to be a great way in keeping drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine from passing through Putnam County from other places. The K-9 Unit has also proved to be a great way in keeping drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine from passing through Putnam County from other places.
Overall the dogs have clocked in more than 96 hours of mandatory training, proving that they continually keep their skills up. Overall the dogs have clocked in more than 96 hours of mandatory training, proving that they continually keep their skills up.

Back in 2016, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office welcomed two new members to their ranks, K-9 Unit dogs Nero and Koda, they've found that having that  K-9 Unit has been beneficial.  The dogs joined the Sheriff’s Office in July after fundraising events and community support, and they've been a great asset.  Drug-related charges increased by 70% in under 6 months, which is something that was a little unexpected.

"I'm happy with the results; I didn't think that it would be quite 70% within just the first six to seven months of the dogs being in action, but I'm happy with the results, and we're going to hope that those percentages get higher," said Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker.

But being a K-9 Unit dog is more than just training once.  Overall the dogs have clocked in more than 96 hours of mandatory training, proving that they continually keep their skills up.

"We went through a six-week course; we started training on narcotics, bite work, tracking, and once that six-week course is over, we have to have the dogs stay certified," said Dep. Troy Stevenson, K-9 Handler for the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.  "Once we get through the training and when they get certified, it doesn't stop the training is always continuous - we train every Monday."

The K-9 Unit has also proved to be a great way in keeping drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine from passing through Putnam County from other places.

"Every day we're taking drugs off the street, a lot of them during the day," Sheriff Siefker said.  "What we're finding out is a lot of these people that we're stopping at the traffic stops are not people from Putnam County, these are people that are traveling through Putnam County, avoiding the Interstates, they're using the back roads and our state routes through our county."

Looking into 2017, the Sheriff's Office says that they hope to double the number of drug related busts that they make in Putnam County with the help of the K-9 Unit.

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