Cottageville gets first drug dog
by The Press and Standard | July 26, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 25, 2018 at 11:08 am
By JULIE HOFF
The Cottageville police department has a new weapon it its fight against crime: Tigger, a highly-trained, drug-sniffing Dutch shepherd.
Tigger is 18 months old and comes from Strategic K9 Performance, LLC in Girard, Ohio, which is owned by Emilio and Antonio Torres. The father-and-son team trains both police dogs and privately-owned pets.
Dutch shepherds, a working breed, are muscular and agile, and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. They are said to be alert, intelligent and easily trained.
Tigger’s price of $5,000 comes from the police department’s budget, Chief Jeffery Cook said. The cost includes a week of training with Tigger’s new handler, Lt. Frankie Thompson.
When Tigger arrived in Cottageville on Sunday July 22, he met Thompson to begin to bond with him and develop a smooth working partnership. The training is also required to earn South Carolina’s K9 police certification status.
“We’ve been wanting to add a dog to our team, and Lt. Thompson is the one who found Tigger,” Cook said.
Tigger — whose photo is featured on Strategic K9 Performance’s Facebook page — is trained to alert passively: When he smells drugs, he sits. He can detect drugs that are hidden in vehicles, containers or clothing. He will also be used to sniff out contraband such as knives and guns.
Cook said the dog will be “a great asset” as the town experiences an increase in drug traffic.
“Our quest is to slow down the flow of methamphetamine through this town,” he said. “The dog is a tool that will help us do that.”