The August Depression Boys meeting drew a crowd to welcome Sgt. Jesse Davis and Sassy of the state police K-9 unit.
Davis has 18 years of experience training dogs for the K-9 unit. Canine specialties include tracking, detecting explosives and locating narcotics. All dogs are donated to the unit and undergo a medical screening before training begins with the handler. When a dog is assigned to a handler the canine will live with the handler forming a bond, ultimately becoming a family member and companion.
Sassy is a nine-year-old female bloodhound and the name fits her personality. She was well trained in a social setting as well as tracking.
Davis and Sassy train in different and unique settings to be prepared for all situations. People have tried different methods to divert their scent from tracking, but scent particles are so small they are left on everything the target has touched or come in contact with. The dogs won’t stop searching until they either find the target or the handler stops them.
Unlike Sassy most of dogs in the K-9 unit are named after fallen officers on duty.
Davis stressed how important the bond needs to be between handler and dog. He explained that every day is a new learning experience and when you think you know everything you are bound to get hurt. The dogs have a job to do; it may seem like a game searching for their “toys,” but in reality they are helping to solve crimes, find missing people and saving lives.
The next Depression Boys meeting will take place at Folts Homes in Herkimer on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. with fire expert Harley Gelan as guest speaker.