Hancock County K9 to retire, new K9 in training

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(ABC 6 News) – The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department is getting ready to welcome a new K9 as its current one, Mach, retires.

Mach was imported from Poland in 2013. Since 2014, he’s worked with deputy and handler Andrew Klein in the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Because of a benign growth in his ear affecting his balance, it’s time to just be a normal dog.

At just nine and a half years old, Mach has had a pretty successful K9 career. He’s helped take hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs off the street, caught fleeing criminals, and located missing people.

“We’re doing a house search warrant and we’re about ready to clear. My dog kept messing with this washing machine in the basement of the house. And we couldn’t figure out what was going on. He kept alerting and we already searched that area.” Klein explained.

“So, we actually went back and tipped the washing machine over and there was a safe cemented in the floor that was full of meth and money. So that was kind of his highlights, that one right there is one of my fondest memories of working with him.”

It’s not just deputies who form relationships with the community.

“He was a unique dog in that I trusted him 100%. When we would go to schools and do like demonstrations, I would let the kids run him because he was so trustworthy. And that was just fun stuff. That community outreach like that really makes the community back what you’re doing.”

It’s time for the community to get to know Hancock County’s newest K9, Hola. The 17-and-a-half-month-old came from Poland in August.

“A very, very high drive dog. Very, very social. She’s going to be a great replacement for him. Personality-wise, they’re very much alike with work ethic and everything. So the transition from one to another isn’t going to be a problem.”

Hola is currently training. Once she graduates from training, she’ll take over for Mach. Letting him enjoy his retired life.

Klein said the graduation celebration isn’t anything “too fancy.” The dogs are thrown a party and get to have steak.