Barry County K-9 receives top ranking
Lieutenant Dana Kammerlohr, who also serves as K-9 officer for the Barry County Sheriff's Department, returned this week from the eighth annual K-9 Olympics sponsored by the American Working Dog Advocate and Vohne Liche Kennels. The competition, which included dogs from across the country, was held in Denver, Ind., on Sept. 27, 28 and 29. Charka, Kammerlohr's 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, received first place in the narcotic residential competition. Charka was the top dog out of 55 other narcotics dogs competing in the contest. According to Kammerlohr, dogs and handlers are judged on the way they handle an actual scenario staged at a house. The pair worked the scene like they would on a regular drug case but were given a specific time limit. "We were judged on how well you work the dog and how well the dog makes the (drug) finds. Charka made all the finds in the house." Other K-9 officers competing in the Olympics were from police departments, county departments, the National Security Agency and the Secret Service. During the three-day event, Charka, who was imported by Kammerlohr from Holland, was also recertified in narcotics and tracking. "I think it's an honor she was able to go to a training like that one and come away with an award," said Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "That just shows you how good a narcotics dog she is. A good dog has to have a good handler, and Dana has worked well with our canines throughout the years." Epperly also pointed out that many of the drugs discovered by the sheriff's department over the years have been discovered by narcotic dogs.