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ACSO has new drug dog, thanks to generous donation

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:07 PM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) -

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office has a new officer who’ll be assigned to southern Aroostook, a K-9 named Kimber. Kathy McCarty has more on how the generosity of others will better enable the agency to fight drug crimes.

A gift from a County dog breeder will enable the Sheriff’s Office to better fight drug crimes in southern Aroostook. Sheriff Shawn Gillen says Jodi and Steve Cyr, of Spruce Valley German Shepherds of St. Agatha, presented the dog to the department earlier this year.

“Last year Jodi contacted me after I had put out a statement saying that we wanted another dog in the southern area, and they generously donated Kimber,” says Sheriff Shawn Gillen.

The Sheriff says Madawaska Tractor Supply donated food, and some of the Cyrs' clients donated money for the dog’s first year of vet services.

Gillen says, “We got a tremendous gift from the - the newly-reinstated D.A.R.E. program of $10,000, which will go towards Kimber’s training - pay for all of that - and some of the equipment that we need.”

As soon as Kimber is trained, Vested Interest in K-9s will donate a vest for her. Gillen says the organization has also expressed interest in donating a cage and help with future vet bills for the dog.

“We’re gonna be utilizing Kimber for the jail as well, doing drug checks in the jail for drug searches and that type of thing, so we’re very excited to get her trained and get her going,” says Gillen.

Kimber joins the ACSO’s other K-9, Jazz, who serves the northern region. Both dogs will specialize in drug detection.

“Because she’s still young, she gets used to the jail, which is a very strange place for dogs to be in, so we have the opportunity to get her through the jail and walk her through there so she’s used to it, so when it comes time to do her job, she’ll be able to - to work to her best,” says handler Deputy Ryan Johnston.

Gillen says without the generosity of others, the cost of adding another dog would have been prohibitive. He says once trained, having Kimber in the jail will help deter people from attempting to bring contraband into the facility.

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