The Hernando County sheriff has a new K-9 deputy named Justice.
The 14-month-old German shepherd will work with Cpl. Stephen Miller, a K-9 Unit supervisor, said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
Miller’s current canine partner, Kilo, will retire in a few weeks. The pair have worked together for eight years. In 2010, while trying to capture an attempted murder suspect in Brooksville, Kilo was shot in the mouth, neck and back. A protective vest he was wearing is credited with saving his life. The dog made a full recovery and returned to duty.
Justice was born in Germany and shipped to Southern Coast K-9 in New Smyrna Beach. Miller and other members of the K-9 Unit selected the dog; he cost $8,500.
An anonymous Hernando resident donated the money to buy Justice. The same person bought another K-9 dog, Judge Topper, for the Hillsborough County sheriff last year.
Miller and his new partner will attend an 18-week K-9 Patrol School at the Clearwater Police Department beginning in October. The pair ultimately must pass state certification through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before going into the community to handle calls.
“We cannot thank the donor enough for their continued support of our agency, the K-9 Unit and the community,” Nienhuis said.
“We look forward to following the K-9 team through their training and will provide periodic updates and photos as they progress.”