The police K-9 has a unique impact on any community. These animals serve a myriad of missions, from drug enforcement to search and rescue to apprehending fleeing subjects. They are also ambassadors of the department, appearing at special events for protective and also public relations purposes. They apprehend criminals and break down barriers between the police and the public. This is apparent by the fact that each time a K-9 is injured or killed, they are treated with nearly the same reverence and respect as a police officer and the public outpouring of support is staggering.
Canines are extremely vital to any law-enforcement agency. They allow officers to be more proactive, especially in the detection of narcotics within the county. Property crimes are always a major concern, and the majority are drug-related. The use of canines helps deputies reduce overall crime within the county and are a very positive addition.
Puma is a 1-year-old German Shepherd born in Europe and was trained by the staff at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pa. Puma was trained in narcotics detection, tracking, handler protection and apprehension. He has had continuous training in obedience skills since birth. K-9 Deputy Cagan Ridgway spent 15 weeks in Pennsylvania training specifically with Puma. Together they make an excellent addition to the Marshall County Sheriff's Office.