New Martinsville Police Welcomes K-9 Meiko
After the untimely death of K-9 Ryder, the New Martinsville Police Department has started to train new recuit, K-9 Meiko.
Detective Donnie Harris, who was also Ryder’s handler, received the 11-month-old German Shepherd from Ultimate Working Dogs. Before the training of Meiko, Harris was working with another K-9 hopeful Ruediger. Harris said that he raised Ruediger from a pup and was hesitant on trading him, but unlike Ryder or even Meiko, Ruediger was not good with children.
Ruediger is now working with another police department.
Harris uses the k-9’s as more than a tool for sniffing out drugs, the dogs are used as a community outreach tool. Every year, Harris gives talks to several groups of children, such as schools and boy scout groups.
Harris has been working with Meiko for a week and a half to get him use to the being in the public and socializing. He predicts that it will be about three months before Meiko is able to work on finding drugs, he will also be used for tracking.
“I didn’t know if I would do this again,” said Harris of taking on the duty of being a K-9 handler again after the death of Ryder. “I had plans on retiring Ryder.”
Harris continued with a dog because it is needed in the community. K-9 Meiko will have his own facebook as well.
Harris is also working to raise money for a K-9 Alert System in his vehicle. This is a system that alerts Harris to when the temperature is rising in the car when the dog is inside. It will send an alert that there could be something wrong with air conditioning unit. The cost is around $1,000 and if anyone would like to make a donation, it can be sent to New Martinsville Police Department K-9, 193 Main St., New Martinsville, West Virginia.