DGIF’s Conservation Police Officers needed a few good dogs—and after searching far and wide they found two exceptional pups. K9 ‘Avery’, a Black Lab and K9 ‘Waylon’, a German Shorthaired Pointer. They were selected from hundreds of potential candidates for their intelligence, energy, and strong ‘play’ drive.
Generous donors Mark Vannoy and the Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy stepped forward to help purchase the dogs. Both have a passion for conservation and wanted to express their support for Virginia’s Conservation Police Officers.
Since DGIF began the K9 program in 2011 – the K9s have played a huge role in search and rescue operations, as well as investigating hunting incidents and solving wildlife crime.
DGIF’s K9s have saved lives by tracking lost hunters and missing children. They also use their noses to solve crime by locating guns and shell casings–essential skills when a hunting incident has occurred.
The officers who handle K9s live with them and work with them every day. The dogs even wear a conservation police shield around their neck to identify them as police dogs.
CPO Mark VanDyke is Avery’s handler and CPO Glenn Cramer is Waylon’s handler. These officers and their K9 partners successfully completed and graduated from the Indiana K9 Training Program on May 16, 2019. They are now back in their regions and working in the field.