Mason County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division K9 Unit
“Out in Front”
The Mason County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit was created to assist in the effort to combat crime in Mason County. The addition of a K9 Unit to the Patrol Division greatly enhances the agency’s capability to track down, locate and capture wanted offenders in all environments. K9s also assist in the search of buildings and other hazardous areas for suspects hiding to avoid apprehension thus providing an added layer of protection for citizens and law enforcement officers during these dangerous incidents.
The Mason County Sheriff K9 Unit provides assistance to neighboring counties, the Washington State Patrol, Search and Rescue and the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team.
The Patrol Division K9 Unit is not budgeted but is fully funded by the Deputy Handlers and donations from businesses, organizations and individual citizens. Both active and retired dogs live with their human partners.
The first two German Shepherds, Gunter and Rohn were acquired after an extensive fundraising in 2009; K9 Abbey, a Blood Hound, was a rescue from the Kitsap Humane Society and Cedar was a puppy trained by Abbey’s handler Sgt. Severance. K9 Kona was trained by the Washington State Patrol and donated to the Sheriff’s office in 2007.
Both the dogs and their handlers go through extensive, and on-going, training to become certified to perform their invaluable duties.
Jano, an 8-year-old German Shepherd was imported from Germany at 6 months of age. K9 Jano replaced K9 Gunter (Sando) due to an early unforeseen retirement. Jano was trained by Cpl. Birklid and throughout his 7 years of Service to Mason County K9 Jano has been directly responsible for 100’s of criminal apprehensions. K9 Jano has also provided direct support to the Mason County Regional SWAT team and has had numerous apprehensions assisting the SWAT.
Ryder is a German Shepard purchased in April 2017 from Excelon Kennels out of Shelton WA. K9 Ryder and Deputy Prigger certified as a team in late 2017 and began working the road. K9 Ryder has assisted Deputies capture multiple suspects and has deescalated situations with verbal warnings. K9 Ryder enjoys visiting with kids and providing demonstrations.
Caliber, a 3-year-old German Shepherd came to live with Deputy Anderson when he was 10 weeks old. Caliber was trained in house and certified as a police K9 when he was just over a year old. Caliber is the son of K9 Jano and is trained in human odor scent detection and specializes in tracking and apprehension. Caliber is also trained to work with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office regional SWAT Team
The Education K9 Team for the Mason County Sheriff’s Office was established by Officer Cindy Brewer and her Great Dane K9 partner Jack when Officer Brewer oversaw Animal Control and Jack was a 2-year-old. Officer Brewer and Jack (now 7 years old and 182 pounds) help educate the citizens and students of Mason County about safe behavior around animals. Additionally, Officer Brewer and Jack visit local area schools to educate students on the negatives of bullying and its destructive effects on fellow students. To schedule Officer Brewer and Jack to visit your school or organization you may contact Officer Brewer directly at 360-427-9670 x 721.
Some of the Retired Dogs
Solo, a German Shepard who worked six years as a Mason County K9 alongside Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Cotte, retired in 2019 when his partner was promoted to Detective. K9 Solo is the son of retired K9 Gunter (Sando) and is the first K9 in the unit to be bred, raised and trained in house. K9 Solo accounted for 102 captures while on patrol and will now live out his years with Detective Cotte.
Gunter, one of two German Shepherds selected to bring patrol K9’s back to Mason County after a 13-year absence the other K9 being K9 Rohn. K9 Gunter (also known as Sando) served Mason County for 3 years and was responsible for nearly 100 Criminal apprehensions in his three years of service. K9 Gunter was also the first K9 to work in direct support of the Mason County Regional SWAT Team and was responsible for numerous apprehensions in direct support of the SWAT.
Rohn, a German Shepherd imported from Canada was named for the late Dennis Rohn; an upstanding community member, Sheriff’s Office supporter and retired police officer. Rohn was the first Patrol K9 since the mid 1990’s and worked with his partner Deputy Matt Gray until his retirement. K9 Rohn was presented a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the line of duty on February 14, 2015 when he sustained a deep cut to his leg while engaging a suspect.
Abbey & Cedar, both Blood Hounds worked alongside Sargent Severance during their careers with the Sheriff’s Office. Abbey and Cedar searched for missing children and vulnerable adults. Abbey retired due to health reasons and rather than retire Cedar changed careers and now works with a Vancouver, WA area Search and Rescue team.
Kona, a Pit Bull, retired in 2015 after 7 plus years of service to the community as a narcotics detection dog. Deputy Dodge and K9 Kona blazed the trail for a successful K9 program through countless hours of training and great community outreach and service. Deputy Dodge and K9 Kona were the first handler and K9 partner in the resurrected K9 unit.
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We would thank all of those who have donated to start and keep the Unit in operation.