BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – Mac, Twiggy, Damion, and Knapp make up the four dog team on the K-9 unit for the Steuben County Sheriff’s department.
Today they demonstrated their hard-earned skills and their value to the team in front of legislators and donors at the Steuben County Fairgrounds in Bath.
“Like having another deputy in the vehicle with them,” said Sgt. Shawn Shutt.
These specially trained dogs showed off their skills, including searching for drugs and explosives. When they find the illegal substance, they alert their handlers in either passive or aggressive styles.
Mac is the only dog on the team that is trained to search for explosives. When Mac finds explosives, he will passively alert his handler so that he does not risk detonating the chemical. He can sniff out at least eight different scents, including TNT and Black Powder.
The price tag for the dogs range from $8,000-$15,000 and are all donated to the Sheriff’s department from local families, some that came today to watch the demonstration.
“I think it’s great,” said Dineen Snyder, CEO Sgt. Devin A. Snyder Memorial Foundation. “I have never been able to really get out to see a demonstration, and with having help fund them to know that they are able to help our community and stuff, yeah, it makes me feel great.”
It is hard to miss the bond between the dogs and their handlers.
“Pretty indescribable to think that the dog would just want to be with you all of the time and you only,” said Shutt. “You are basically with the dog 24 hours a day, you go to work, he goes to work with you, you come home, he comes home with you.”
“These guys see that their dogs more than their family members, so there is a real tight bond there with the dog and that is why they are willing to do what he does and work the way that he does to protect their handler,” said Shutt.