Sherry Gibbany (center, left) and Susan McSherry (right) representatives of the North Arkansas Kennel Club, present a check to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit for equipment for the department’s Belgian Malinois, Cooper, Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore (left) and Deputy Sheriff Gene Atwell ) Cooper’s partner) accept the donation, along with Cooper.
The North Arkansas Kennel Club presented a check to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit for the purpose of equipment needed for Cooper while in the patrol car.
Cooper is a 2 1/2 year old Belgian Malinois, a sing purpose canine that is used for narcotics search. Cooper is from Belgium where the breeder evaluates the puppies for high drive to determine if the dog will be suitable for law enforcement.
Cooper was obtained through the North Arkansas Little Rock Canine Academy which purchases suitable dogs from the trainer/breeder in Belgium.
The academy does the initial training at around 6 months of age before the dog is released to law enforcement agencies.
Atwell and Cooper have been training together for 2 years. They attend the canine academy in Little Rock twice a month for training and Atwell trains an additional 10-12 hours a week with Cooper.
Cooper is the first canine patrol team that Atwell has worked with and he describes Cooper as awesome.
Atwell must keep a daily log and deployment log, for the K-9 unit. Cooper is certified through the Drug Dog Association which has several standards that the dog must demonstrate. Those standards consist of recognition of at least four drugs: marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
The Team has an astounding record of drug busts in Boone County in the short time the team has been working together.