Harrison Co. Sheriff's Department K-9's career put on pause

Harrison Co. Sheriff's Department K-9's career put on pause
Fred's handler K-9 Deputy Chris Allen. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fred's handler K-9 Deputy Chris Allen. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fred going through an obedience exercise at the Harrison County Sheriff's Office. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fred going through an obedience exercise at the Harrison County Sheriff's Office. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fred exercising at the Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Fred exercising at the Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office. (Photo source: WLOX News)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County Sheriff's K-9 department just got a bit smaller. That's because one of the department's dogs is no longer in service.

"He loves to have fun. He plays. He's a very soft dog. You know, he doesn't come up to you and want to be rough housed. He wants to be loved. He loves to be pet," said Danny Gilkerson with the Harrison County K-9 Division.

The downside to Fred?

"I think he attention span's a little short. Just has a few issues here and there. Basically what it boils down to is an officer safety issue," said Fred's handler, Chris Allen.

Fred is supposed to be a dual purpose canine meant to perform area searches, find narcotics, search buildings, provide personnel protection and tracking. But Fred fall short on most of his duties, with the exception of sniffing out narcotics.

Fred's handler, K-9 deputy Chris Allen said the problems all started during a perimeter check at a school.

"He bit an air condition electrical wire. And ever since then, it's just snow balled from there," said Allen.

The final straw was when Deputy Allen and Fred responded to a burglary.

"Once we came out of the first bedroom, he turned around and bear hugged my arm and started trying to bite me. So I had to hold him away from me, and once that starts happening it creates an officer safety issue. Because you don't know if a suspect is in the house," said Allen.

That was Fred's last night on the job. Though he's no longer working, Fred still lives comfortably at the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. He's still fed and exercised while the sheriff's department works to find him a new home.

"He would make a great pet. Unfortunately, he's a trained police K-9, so it becomes a little difficult to do that," said Gilkerson.

"He was my first K-9 I've ever had, so there is sentimental value to him, being my first K-9. But if you look at some of the situations he's put me in, it's not worth harming myself nor him," said Allen.

Deputy Allen said though Fred may not be a good dual purpose patrol canine, he is one of the best narcotics K-9s on the coast. Unfortunately, the sheriff's department is not in need of one. The sheriff's department is currently looking for a K-9 to replace Fred.

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