May 28—Bonded through service, and Vienna sausages, Cullman County Sheriff's Office Deputy Tanner Waldrep and K-9 partner Moo have been tracking bad guys across Cullman County for the last year.
When learning that the Knoxville Police Department was passing on Moo, the Cullman County Sheriff's Office decided to make the trip to see if he met their criteria for a trainable K-9. Checking the boxes for courage and confidence, Moo was soon enlisted into the CCSO.
This presented Tanner with the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a K-9 handler.
Over the course of the next several weeks Tanner and Moo underwent a rigorous training regimen. While Tanner was able to complete his required training in four weeks, Moo, who is considered a "green dog," required initial baby steps in the beginning of his three month training process.
The two also trained closely together learning the intricacies of their personalities. It was these efforts which led to Moo now being able to complete a 1-2 mile track in just under an hour.
By setting up perimeters upon arriving at a crime scene, the CCSO are now able to call upon units like Tanner and Moo's to sniff out suspects by using evidence that may have been dropped by a suspect, or that the suspect has come in contact with.
In his year of service, Moo has successfully apprehended 17 suspects, making him what Director of K-9 Operations Lieutenant Matt Bales described as "one of the best tracking dogs I have ever trained.
While off-duty Moo has become a member of the Tanner family as the two remain together at the end of their shifts. Tanner says even then the "gentle giant" loves to hunt.
"It's just a part of him, he loves to go hunting and to track. My kids also crawl over him and that's the other thing he loves is covering them in slobber," Tanner says.