Inside an empty elementary school Monday, Cleveland County deputies trained with their canines and reinforced skills that could save lives.
Their dogs found the "bad guy" in the building fast, and practiced helping their handler, when someone tries to harm him.
But primarily, the highly trained animals are applauded for their sense of smell and tracking abilities. Meth, marijuana, cocaine and heroin were hidden inside classrooms for the dogs to track.
“When I see a change in behavior, such as a real quick head turn or him sniffing aggressively or his tail starts wagging and then he sits down or he lays down, that’s his indication,” said Cleveland County Deputy Travis Shroyer.
After chasing the man for two and a half miles, at times more than 100 mph, deputies said the suspect bailed from his car.
“I get Django out, give my call out, then we start tracking. We track for about 200 to 250 yards into the woods and we apprehend him,” Shroyer said.
It’s the kind of work that serves as an outlet for driven, dedicated dogs and helps keep deputies and the public safe.
There are three K-9s in the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. Officials said they’re in the process of trying to get a fourth dog.