COMMUNITY ASKED TO NAME SHERIFF’S NEW DRUG-SNIFFING DOG

COMMUNITY ASKED TO NAME SHERIFF’S NEW DRUG-SNIFFING DOG

The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department has added a new dog to the K-9 unit. The 19-month-old Belgian Malinois was imported from the Netherlands and purchased for $4,000 with a federal grant.

K-9 coordinator Sgt. Gerard Madden said the new dog came to the department with an unusual name: Berry 9.

“We thought we’d give the community an opportunity to help us give this magnificent animal a more appropriate name,” Madden said. “We’re asking people to submit their suggestions by e-mail to k9daso@yahoo.com or by phone to (505) 525-1911. The deadline for submissions is noon on Valentine’s Day, (Feb. 14). The submissions will be evaluated and a name will be announced soon after.”

Madden said Berry 9 is unique in several ways, and those submitting names might want to know about some of the dog’s special qualities.

Berry 9 had surgery recently to heal an abscess on his left rear paw. During training with other dogs in California, a black Labrador Retriever bit off a piece of Berry 9’s right ear. Berry 9 loves to play with a football, and has been known to intercept a ball from people playing nearby. He loves kids.

Names submitted already include Stitch, Lucky, Bam Bam and Scrappy.

On the job, Madden said, the dog is all business. He is trained to sniff out narcotics and to assist deputies in special-response situations. He will also tour the schools in Doña Ana County to make presentations about the department’s K-9 unit.

Berry 9 replaces 12-year veteran Zico, who is beginning to show signs of back troubles and will be retired from the force.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.