Arriving for duty: Denton County donates K-9 to Wise

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, January 20, 2018
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Three months after the disappearance of K-9 officer Rayco, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office has been gifted another brindle Dutch Shepard.

Sheriff Lane Akin said Denton County Sheriff’s Office contacted him Thursday to ask if he wanted Rocky, a K-9 officer whose handler had left their department.

GOOD BOY – Sgt. JT Manoushagian trained Friday with his new K-9 partner, Rocky. Rocky was a gift from the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“It was unbelievable,” Akin said. “What a windfall that was.”

Akin said prior to that call the sheriff’s office had been considering options to replace Rayco, who escaped from his kennel during a storm in October and hasn’t been seen since. The department had a donor willing to buy a new dog, but there still would have been extra training costs involved. Rocky is already a dual-purpose K-9, trained in narcotics detection and apprehension, though his new handler, Sgt. JT Manoushagian, said he might be too old to do apprehensions. Rocky is eight.

Manoushagian and Rocky started training together Friday, working to build a bond between handler and K-9.

“He’s a great dog. We’ve had fun so far,” Manoushagian said. “He is so lovable. We took him up to the office and he loved on everybody. He’s met my kids. I have five kids, and they were hanging all over him.”

Manoushagian said Rocky is titled through the KNPV, a police dog training program in Holland. He’s the first titled dog the Wise County Sheriff’s Office has had.

“His pedigree is really nice,” Manoushagian said. “His obedience is spot on, even after being in a kennel all day.”

Rocky is already considered a member of the force, but Manoushagian will continue to evaluate his new partner for the next month before taking him on calls.

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