The Morris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Section is adding talent to its kennel of police dogs through the courtesy of donations of a Labrador Retriever puppy and Belgian Malinois puppy to the Agency.
And, the Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be part of naming these two fetching canines. Please watch the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for details of the contest. Fitting monikers will be chosen by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and K9 Section Detective Lieutenant Aaron Tomasini and Detective Corporal Michael McMahon.
An 8-week-old Labrador Retriever that will be trained by the Sheriff’s Office in explosives detection is being donated to the Sheriff’s Office by Walter Quense, founder and trainer of onPOINT-K9 in Bernards Township.
A 5-month-old Belgian Malinois female puppy, to be trained for search and rescue missions and accelerant detection, is being donated by Jeff Riccio, founder and trainer at Riptide K9 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Malinois is one of a litter of 11 pups.
The donations – possible through Detective Corporal McMahon’s longtime professional associations with the trainers – will save Morris County about $12,000. Corporal McMahon already has conducted preliminary evaluations and testing of the puppies and believes they are fine additions to the K9 Section.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office runs a premier training facility and the puppies will largely be trained onsite in their specialty areas with their handlers. Sheriff’s Office Detective John Granato will handle the Labrador and Sheriff’s Office Detective Marc Adamsky will partner with the Malinois.
“We are donating because I have known Corporal McMahon for many years and always admired his passion and talent for training these dogs to do great things. I believe he is on the cutting edge of training and heads up one of the most progressive training groups in the country,” said Jeff Riccio.
Corporal McMahon is scheduled to pick up the puppies next week and they have an appointment with a veterinarian – Dr. Kris Conway of Hodes Veterinary Group in Mine Hill – on November 6.
Sheriff Gannon noted that the K9 Section, which provides services to all 39 municipalities in Morris County, is constantly busy responding to more than 1,000 calls annually that include patrols, searches for missing people, fires, narcotics investigations, and sweeps of public areas, festivals, concerts and large gatherings for explosive devices.
“The Sheriff’s Office appreciates these very generous donations that will keep the kennel of dogs fresh, energetic and highly trained as deployable law enforcement partners in keeping the community safe,” Sheriff Gannon said.
Once fully trained, the Malinois will replace K9 Cinders, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois who will retire after partnering with Detective Granato.
The other dogs in the K9 Section are Po, Kai, Sigmund, Spike, Ollie, Chip, Tim, Loco and Boomer.
The Sheriff’s Office rescued Boomer from a bleak future – possible euthanasia – in 2017 when a Sheriff’s Officer saw the frisky German shepherd and Labrador Retriever mixed breed at an animal shelter and was receptive to the suggestion that the disobedient dog might be trained for police work.
The Sheriff’s Office found a way to harness the puppy’s energy and Boomer completed training with Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Carbone to become an explosives-sniffing specialist in 2018.