ANDERSON Co., SC (WSPA) – On Wednesday, 7News got an inside look into training with the Anderson County K-9 Unit.
“So I’ve been a law enforcement officer for about 9 years now and I just witnessed the companionship the handlers had with their dogs and I wanted to experience that,” said Deputy Kevin Shaw who’s been a K-9 handler for two years at Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
This coming two weeks after K-9 Magnum bit his handler and the handler used corrective measures not in live with the department breaking Magnum’s back leg. While that handler has since resigned, K-9 Magnum is recovering at Anderson County P.A.W.S. and receiving love from the K-9 unit.
“It’s just a connection that you really can’t explain than to go through the experience as a handler to see the relationship and see how dedicated they are to you,” Shaw said.
For Shaw, he doesn’t get to just come home to his dog, but takes him to work everyday.
Whether it’s tracking drugs, a person or some other dangerous situation, this K-9 Unit is exactly that a unit of deputies and dogs.
“It’s a brotherhood. You know there is a very small number of us and we work together on actual live deployments we track together and we train together every week,” Shaw said.
The unit goes through 40 hours of training for any situation each month.
“I’m on the Anderson County SWAT team and been through thousands of hours of training in my law enforcement career and by far handling a K-9 is the most intense training I’ve ever been through,” Shaw said.
Just two weeks ago at one of those trainings, K-9 Magnum bit his handler.
“I think almost every handler I’ve ever met has been bit before,” said Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride.
But Sheriff McBride said the deputy didn’t follow proper protocol when correcting the dog, injuring him, launching an internal investigation and that handler later resigned.
“But we are glad to hear Magnum is making progress and going to be okay,” Sheriff McBride said.
The hope is for K-9 Magnum to return to the unit and continue doing good things for Anderson County.
“A dog is truly invaluable. I really can’t describe their worth, they can save my life and they’ve done it before we’ve apprehended armed suspects hiding inside of buildings,” Shaw said.
As for the internal investigation into what happened between Magnum and his handler, the sheriff said it’s wrapped up and the case was turned over to SLED.
If any criminal charges were to be filed against Magnum’s handler it would come from SLED. The sheriff said Magnum and his handler were with the department for almost two years and came from Anderson City as a pair.