Published on November 27, 2011 | by Rachel Hunziker0
Geauga County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Program
The Sheriff”s Office is responsible for policing 403 miles of picturesque Geauga County. Geauga County is comprised on 16 townships, four villages and one city. One of the greatest assets of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office is their experience and tenure in training and housing K-9 units.
Each of the Sheriff’s K-9 units are certified in various specialties, which include general patrol, evidence recovery, building searches, handler protections, narcotics detention, bomb detections, general area searches, search and rescue operations and cadaver recovery. Narcotics certification includes the ability to detect the odors of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Since 2008, the Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit has drastically depleted from five utility teams down to two, mostly due to illness and then to eventual death of the dogs.
Upon hearing this, John and Mary Wheeler of Wheeler Landscaping in Auburn Township have decided to use their community involvement by contacting friends and acquaintances to help raise funds for the purchase of three new dogs for Geauga County.
“We have always felt a tremendous appreciation for the Sheriff’s Office and thought, if more people in the community understood the need of these dogs, then they’d be happy to help,” said Mary Wheeler.
Other than Midge, a drug-sniffing Chihuahua, handled by Sheriff Dan McClelland, the K-9′s are German Shepherds.
Marko, handled by Deputy Matsik, serves Geauga, Ashtabula and Lake Counties as a bomb-detecting dog. He also protects deputies on the scene of investigations and tracks down missing persons.
Three more German Shepherds, at a cost of roughly $8000 a piece, would allow for one dog to be on patrol with his handler each twelve hour shift resulting in round the clock protection for our communities.
“The ability to have that resource is critical,” said Sheriff Dan McClelland.
The Sheriff’s Office is still accepting donations. The donations are tax deductible and any amount given is appreciated. Once the Sheriff’s Office is able to purchase the K-9′s and they are certified, John and Mary Wheeler plan to host an event and invite participants to meet the K-9′s and see what they are able to do.
Checks can be made payable to Geauga County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, 12450 Merritt Road, Chardon, OH 44024.