The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday a new K-9 dog and deputy will be joining the unit after completing the necessary training.
K-9 Valor is a 16-month-old German Shepherd, and was purchased with the help of a $5,000 donation from Thomas Dobies of Dobies Funeral Home in Pasco County in memory of Janet Anderson.
Anderson worked as a K-9 handler and sergeant in both Pasco and Hernando counties, and also worked for 24 years as the sheriff’s staff.
K-9 Valor will be handled by Deputy Jeffrey Andrews, who has been training with the K-9 unit and waiting for a spot to open up.
The dog was born in Germany, sent to Southern Coast K-9 in New Smyrna Beach and hand-picked by Andrews and his supervisors. K-9 Valor cost $8,200.
Andrews and K-9 Valor started K-9 Patrol School in Pinellas County on Tuesday and will complete 640 hours of training by the expected graduation date of July 25. The team learns to track, search, retrieve and apprehend and will need to pass Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s state certification before starting patrols.
The sheriff’s office has 4 K-9 dogs in the unit, and Public Information Officer Denise Moloney said Deputy John Gore and K-9 Dari will be retiring in a few weeks.