I did my story on the Star City Police’s newest member. She is a police dog. They have had her about a month so far and its been working out really well for them. Their last dog was getting old and had to retire so they went to St. Albans, West Virginia to go get a new police dog. I first heard about the story on WBOY, which is my bureau as well. It worked out because it was like an update to a story they had already worked on.
I really liked this story because it showed more then just training the dog. It showed the bond between Sergeant Tom Varndell, who is the officer training the dog, and Lily the police dog. They spend 24 hours together training. Lily is still in training so they work on that mostly. Their day starts at 9:00 pm in the station. They spend the first few hours training. They also patrol the streets just like a regular police shift. Then they end the day with some more training.
I was lucky to see some of the training. They actually use a ball that smells like heroin to attract the dog. It is a common mistake that they get the dog addicted to the drug. Lily is actually a passive dog as opposed to an aggressive dog. Lily sits down and points when she finds the ball, an aggressive dog will bark and look to bite for their reward.
Overall the story went well. I would have liked to see more training, but it was hard because they only come into the office at night. I would also have like to done a follow up because Lily won’t be officially certified until two more weeks.
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