Dec. 16—Pam Wagner of the Ironton Police Department THE TRIBUNE/MARK SHAFFER
With the retirement of their K9, Goose, the Ironton Police Department is seeking donations to buy a new K9.
IPD chief Pam Wagner said Goose, who joined the force in 2016, was retired because of some medical issues and because his handler, Brian Pauley, was promoted to captain of the detective bureau and doesn't do street patrols anymore.
"Goose had some hip dysplasia and some other stuff," Wagner said. "So, we are without a K9 on the streets and we are raising money to get a new one."
Patrolman James Akers has agreed to be the new K9 officer.
"He's agreed that's the position he wants and has agreed to take the training," Wagner said. "Being a K9 officer is a big responsibility.
The department has already looked into getting a new trained K9 and is partnering with K9 Unlimited of Tulsa Inc. to get the dog and to train Akers.
The cost is $15,000.
Wagner said the department already has a vehicle equipped for a K9 and some of the equipment that was used with Goose can be used with a new dog, although they will need to purchase some items such as a vest.
Wagner said with Goose gone, they are in desperate need, since he was invaluable when it came to things like searching for illegal drugs.
"We used Goose on many busts, especially on vehicles and homes," she said. "They are trained to find drugs so much faster than an officer can. And with the addiction epidemic of this area, and all across the U.S., a K9 is a valuable tool that saves us time and resources and manpower."
Wagner said the department has applied for grants to purchase a new K9 but "we haven't heard back from anyone yet."
Donations can be made out to the City of Ironton and mailed to 301 S. Third St., Ironton, Ohio, 45638.
As for Goose's retirement, he is staying with Pauley.
"You can't just take a dog away from its handler. They have a bond that doesn't end when the dog retires." Wagner said. "And he is now comfortably resting with Captain Pauley and his family. And he does get to come and visit from time to time. We are always happy to see Goose because he was with us for years."
For more information, call the IPD at 740-532-2338.