“Pia,” a two year old Dutch Shepherd police dog, now calls Orofino home. The K-9, originally from Germany, was picked up approximately a week ago at the Spokane, WA airport and will reside with Officer Mike Shore and his family in a kennel especially constructed for her by Public Works employees, Tyson Cobb and Jeremy Gering.
Pia will be kept indoors in the cold weather. Pia eats “Red Flannel hooch chow,” a high-energy, high-protein dog food, according to Shore, which the department is able to purchase at Whipple’s Feed.
“So far, she is adjusting well,” said Officer Shore who worked with a K-9 narcotics dog for one year in Georgia before joining OPD. He was a certified dog handler in that state and will be taking the required test for certification in Idaho. Pia is a “high-strung” young dog who has to adjust to crossing time zones, new handlers, new smells, new food, and a new home. Shore said that she is highly trained and her primary purpose will be drug detection, and protection of a police officer in situations involving an aggressive offender. “She will be a great drug dog; all she wants to do is work,” he said.
Officer Shore has a two year old child who is watching from a distance, fascinated at this new member of the family. Naturally, the child is segregated and has only watched Pia from a distance. As the dog becomes more familiarized with the family, proves obedient and safe, she will gradually be able to interact with the child a little more.
Pia is provided from a company called: K-9 Working Dogs International, LLC that specializes in training police K-9‘s. The cost of the animal, after a $3,000 grant, is $8,000, and her training is guaranteed.
Some police dogs are trained specifically for narcotics. Others are trained to handle aggressive offenders. Pia will be cross-trained to serve both functions. The dog will remain the property of OPD and stay with the department in the event of a change in handlers in the future.