It may be the dog days of summer in Houston, but not so for Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) K-9 deputies Boomer and Tommy. These hard-working, elite canine officers, who are available 24/7 for duty, have been nominated for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards ™ 2013. Winners are decided by public voting held online now through July 30.
K-9 officers arrive at HCSO trained in handler protection, but then go through a rigorous 14-week HCSO training course with their handler to learn tracking, scouting, building searches, vehicle stops, and drug or bomb training. Most law enforcement K-9s are German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, cost $12,000 and retire after five to eight years of service.
K-9 Boomer and K-9 Tommy are black German Shepherds who take a bite out of crime every day with a proven record of finding drugs, explosives, and bad guys on the run. In almost two years with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Boomer has helped take more than $6 million worth of illegal drugs off the streets and assisted in the arrest of 26 suspects accused in crimes involving narcotics, evading arrest and/or burglary. K-9 Tommy, a new addition and rising star on the HSCO team, has aided in cornering 36 suspects, found an elderly missing man and located important evidence in a sexual assault case.
A total of 15 dogs are competition finalists in the Law Enforcement/Arson category, with HCSO K-9 deputies Boomer and Tommy the only representatives from Texas. Vote online daily for Texas’ “Top Dogs” athttp://www.herodogawards.org/contestants or at http://www.harriscountyso.org/community_engagement.aspx.
Winners from each of the eight hero dog categories (Service, Therapy, Hearing, Emerging Hero, Military, Guide, Search & Rescue, and Law Enforcement/Arson) will be announced on August 6 with their respective charity receiving $1,500. The finalists receive airfare and accommodations for two to attend the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards™ Gala held October 6 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles. The overall Hero Dog of the Year winner will be announced that night with the winning dog’s charity receiving an additional $5,000 for a total of $6,500 total prize monies. Harris County Sheriff’s Office has named K9s4Cops as their charity recipient.
To vote today for K-9 Boomer and K-9 Tommy, please visitwww.herodogawards.org/contestants, look under “Choose a Charity Partner,” click on K9s4COPS, the wonderful Houston-based group that donated the money for HCSO to acquire many of our special dogs. Hit the voting button and cast your vote daily for K-9 Boomer and K-9 Tommy. You can also vote directly from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office website at http://www.harriscountyso.org/community_engagement.aspx.