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From deputy to pet: K-9 Dina retires from Sumter County Sheriff ’s Office after 9 years of service

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 6/11/19

Law enforcement officers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, number of legs and shade of fur.

Dina, a K-9 with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, retired last week after nine "productive years of apprehension and protection," according to Sheriff …

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From deputy to pet: K-9 Dina retires from Sumter County Sheriff ’s Office after 9 years of service

Posted

Law enforcement officers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, number of legs and shade of fur.

Dina, a K-9 with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, retired last week after nine "productive years of apprehension and protection," according to Sheriff Anthony Dennis. Dennis awarded K-9 Dina and her handler, Cpl. Evan Rogerson, with a plaque after Rogerson's mother gave him a painting on canvas of the deputy duo.

"She was a good tracker," Rogerson said.

Rogerson has been Dina's handler for four years and will now keep her at home as a pet.

She was one of five K-9s, each of whom have a handler, who comprise the K-9 unit at the sheriff's office. K-9 deputies are trained and accredited in patrol techniques, tracking, officer protection and drug detection, according to the sheriff's office.

Building the bond between a K-9 and his or her handler is the most important foundation to training so each can feel safe with the other.

Dina was certified to detect five drug classes and to track on hard or soft surfaces for human odor, which can mean a suspect or a missing person.

She helped find a missing child who walked away when his mother turned her back for a minute on U.S. 15 South, Rogerson said. Dina found the boy under a mobile home three-quarters of a mile away.

"Those are the things that stick out in my mind," he said.

They work in 12-hour shifts but spend all day together. K-9s sleep at their handlers' homes, making the bond-building 24/7.

When a K-9 retires is different for each dog, but Dina started getting older. She has gray hair now and is starting to get arthritis in her back. It depends on quality of life and efficiency.

"It used to be she could work and do three or four tracks a night, and now we're lucky if we get one good one," Rogerson said.

So now, she'll relax. She will probably miss working, Rogerson said, especially because that means he has to leave her during his shifts and work with a new dog, K-9 Tara.

"I think she's going to enjoy retirement," he said. "I got a new dog, so she can be lazy, be a pet. Now we just have to work on keeping her off the couch."