By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office has a new furry colleague joining its ranks, taking over for a K9 officer that died in November, the organization announced this week.
On Tuesday, the office introduced K9 Frankie to the world as the newest member of its agency. Frankie is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois from Mexico.
The dog has been training with Deputy Krystal Mansur, who will be her handler. Frankie has been trained to detect illegal drugs.
Frankie is taking over for the office’s late K9 Tonka, who passed away in November.
“Deputy Mansur described her partner as the best, sweet, loving, dog with a great nose and loved to work,” Sergeant Travis Bingham said. “She went on to say (Frankie’s) two favorite things were finding drugs, and her ball.”
In addition to bringing Frankie on board, the office received a donation of body armor for its newest teammate.
The bullet and stab-proof vest comes from the nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, which provides these type of vests to law enforcement and related agency animals.
Frankie’s vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Ike, Vancouver Police Department.”
Since its inception in 2009, Vested Interest has provided more than 4,210 vests to K9 officers in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, financed by both private and corporate donations.
Each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds, and comes with a five-year warranty.
The program provides vests for U.S. dogs at least 20 months old that are actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.
There are an estimated 30,000 K9 officers in the United States.