The newest member of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit is finishing training to use his nose for some very special sniffing in the county jail.
Thunder, a black Labrador retriever, has been in training since about September in West Virginia for detection of contraband that is regularly smuggled into the county jail.
Corrections Officer Jason Schultz joined the dog to begin his training on how to understand and read the dog’s alerts.
In a Facebook post last week, the sheriff’s office included an update on the duo:
“Corrections Officer Schultz and his K-9 partner, Thunder, began training on Monday, February 10th. K-9 Thunder will be an invaluable asset for the Butler County Jail once their training is completed. Initial reports state that he can now sit, stay, and obey other commands. K-9 Thunder is also doing pretty well too. In all seriousness, congratulations to Corrections Officer Schultz and his new K-9 partner Thunder!”
The dog will live with Schultz and come to work with him in the jail, where the he will search cells and other jail areas for cellphones, tobacco and narcotics.
“He will be used in the jail only, due to the nature of what he is searching for that is not illegal for the general public,” said Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.
The Matt Haverkamp Foundation, which was established in 2005 for Golf Manor police K-9 Officer Matt Haverkamp, who died in a car crash, is funding the dog.
Lt. Nick Fisher, the jail warden, said the team should be on the job by the end of the month.
“It will be a good tool to fight against things getting into the jail. It is a constant fight and it can be a dangerous situation,” Fisher said.