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Milton Police Department welcomes new K-9

Dog to be trained in explosives detection
September 26, 2018

Milton Police Department introduced its newest officer to town council Sept. 10: a 19 month old dog named Zoey.

Zoey is the department’s explosive-sniffing K-9 in training. Her trainer, Lt. Derrick Harvey, said he has been working with the energetic pup for about nine weeks. “She’s basically growing up,” Harvey said. “We’re getting to the point where we can start her training. Following commands, basic stuff.”

Zoey was donated to the department by Katey Griffith and Jay Davidson of Barbihaus Kennels of Dover, Chief Robert Longo said. The kennel specializes in breeding Malinois and German shepherds for use as police dogs, sporting dogs or for active pet homes. Harvey said Zoey is a mix of German shepherd and Belgian Malinois. “It’s the best mix because you get the good stuff from the shepherd and the good stuff from the Malinois. They’re highly motivated dogs,” Harvey said. 

Longo said Zoey will be used mainly as an explosive-sniffing dog for big events in town, and she will be able to track. Harvey said Zoey will get 8 to 16 weeks’ training in patrol and bomb detection. The training will be a new experience for both dog and trainer, as Harvey’s previous experience was training the town’s narcotics dog, Xena.

A pure Belgian Malinois, Xena is 3 years old and was purchased from Barbihaus Kennels with a grant three years ago. Xena’s handler, Pfc. Chris Whitehouse, said the breed is a kind of Belgian sheepdog. Xena lives with Whitehouse full time. “She’s a very good dog when she’s at home. She knows when she’s at work and when she’s at home,” Whitehouse said.

He said Xena has been used often for drug scans and drug money, as well as for tracking for suspects who have run away. Longo said, “It gives us a better opportunity to serve the community. If a child is missing, if a suspect takes off, they can track in a criminal sense or a rescue sense. That is very beneficial.”