Canine helps aid Sheriff’s Office
A new deputy has recently been added to the staff at the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office.
Furex, a German Shepherd, will aid deputy Johnny Gorden and the rest of the department with drug-related incidents.
“It’s hard to explain but this has always been one of the reasons I got into law enforcement,” Gorden said. “I always dreamt of having a canine partner and being chosen to do this in Gillespie County is very rewarding.”
“We have several tools in our toolbox and this is just another great asset for our office and our community,” Gillespie County Sheriff Buddy Mills said. “A dog has a sense of smell that is 600 times greater than a human, so they can smell much more than what we can.”
Having a canine partner is much different than having a human partner, Gorden said.
“He’s always in a good mood and he is always ready to work,” Gorden said. “It is so rewarding to see how much he wants to work and just be around you.”
Mills said the process of obtaining the canine has been going on for almost two years.
“We have been working on this project for two years and we wanted to figure out a way not to charge the taxpayers,” Mill said.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, the department was able to begin the process of finding a dog and providing training for Gorden.
Pacesetter K9 LLC, a company based in Liberty Hill, specializes in dual purpose dogs, like Furex, who tracks and detects illicit drugs.
Before obtaining the dog, Gorden spent a month in Liberty Hill helping learn the training required for himself and Furex as well as developing a bond.
“It was a long and hot month but it was good training,” Gorden said. “You start off getting the bond with the dog to grow, then you move to obedience and how to handle the dog. Then you work on narcotics, apprehension and tracking.”
While Gorden has been in law enforcement for almost 10 years, he felt like this was his first day on the job.
“I felt like a rookie,” he said. “It was very interesting and we learned a lot.”
In addition to narcotics and apprehension, Furex is trained in tracking.
“We sometimes have people who get lost in the community, so we will be able to be on the ground to help track missing persons,” Mills said. “In addition, he will help us fight crime and tackle the drug issues.”
Furex and Gorden will continue to maintain training and will soon be fitted with a specialized vehicle.
Furex has already assisted in drug-related cases.
The Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office hopes to continue to build the canine program in the community with the addition of Furex and more dogs in the future.
“I hope that I am able to build the canine program up and maybe get two or three more out on the street,” Gorden said.
Other areas with canine units include Blanco, Llano and Boerne. Mills also hopes to assist the Fredericksburg Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Gorden, Mills and the sheriff’s office would also like to thank Tractor Supply for food donations and Amy Pilmer, DVM for her veterinary care.