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 5-8 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. Harris County residents are encouraged to vote online daily for Texas’ “Top Dogs” atwww.herodogawards.org/contestants or athttp://www.harriscountyso.org/community_engagement.aspx.