Road Prison Officer Finds Perfect Partner In Animal Shelter Rescue Dog
April 21, 2017
Road Prison Officer Robert Oliver was looking for the perfect dog for Narcotic Detection Handler’s School. While he was anxious to begin the training, he knew that finding the right dog was worth the wait.
Britt, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, was picked up by Escambia County Animal Control as a stray. After being adopted from the shelter, she was returned because her adopters thought she was “too much dog.”
On Nov. 4, 2015 Oliver rescued Britt from the Escambia County Animal Shelter after spotting her during a random checkup on a work squad.
“She stood out from the rest of the dogs,” Oliver said. “We were checking on a squad and we walked through the kennels and saw her. We got a ball and took her out to a pen and threw the ball to see if she had toy drive.”
At that point, Oliver knew he had found something special in Britt.
“We asked if we could borrow her, and I contacted the trainers from the sheriff’s department,” he said. “They tested her and said if we didn’t want her, they did.”
Britt was tested by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office K-9 instructors and recommended for narcotic detection. On Nov. 17, 2015 Officer Oliver and K-9 Britt began Narcotic Detection Handlers’ School. After 200 hours of training, both handler and K-9 received their Certification in Narcotic Detection.
The first week of March, the pair attended a testing seminar put on by The United States Police Canine Association. Testing was conducted on room searches as well as vehicle searches. Officer Oliver and K-9 Britt were both certified through USPCA in narcotics detection. They have since re-certified.
As the Road Prison’s only narcotics dog, K-9 Britt and Oliver have made numerous narcotic “finds.” They routinely search the Road Prison, crew trucks and job sites where road crews are working. They also search the Work Release center and the Main Jail.
The pair have also trained and competed at the Southern States Manhunt and Field Trials. In 2016, just after becoming certified, they took fourth place out of nearly 20 teams in the Drug Detection Division. This year they fared even better, winning second place out of 14 teams.
“I’ve had several other institutions ask me to keep an eye out for a dog at the pound,” Oliver said. “We’ve even connected a few dogs.”
While Oliver’s demeanor is stoic, he recognizes how lucky a find K-9 Britt was.
“She’s a great dog,” Oliver said. “She’s loveable, she’s wired up. She checks on you all the time. If you move she thinks you want to go throw the ball.”
Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.