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First Responder Friday: Laurens Co. Sheriff’s Office K9 Team

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LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – They’re called K9 officers, but just because they walk on four legs, make no mistake. They are a major part of any law enforcement agency.

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office K9 team has five patrol dogs along with bloodhounds.

“Joeri” was the first patrol dog to be purchased by the county. And those dogs don’t come cheap. It can cost $15,000 just to buy a fully trained dog. Most K9 officers in the United States are brought in from Europe.

“People think they have a German Shepherd, ‘well it’s going to be a police dog.’ Well, just because a dog has teeth doesn’t mean it’s always going to make a good police dog,” LCSO Master Deputy Shawn Davis said. “Or just because a dog uses it’s nose to find his food doesn’t mean he’ll be able [to find] a person or a missing person.”

One K9 officer is always on duty for the sheriff’s office. Davis said deputies spend more time with those animals than their families.

It can also be expensive to equip K9 officers. A bullet-proof vest can run around $3,000. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office K9 team has been raising money to buy another protective vest for one of the dogs.

If you’d like to contribute, you can donate by mail to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office K9 Team P.O. Box 68 Laurens, SC 29360.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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