By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
The newest member of the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department has four legs and an extremely sensitive nose. Rue, a 2-year-old Dutch shepherd is trained to detect illegal drugs.
“There was a dire need for a drug-detecting dog of our own,” said Hardy County Sheriff Bryan Ward. “We’ve been using K-9s from Grant and Hampshire counties. We don‘t want to be reliant on other counties.”
Rue is trained to detect methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and cocaine.
“She’s not an attack dog,” Ward said. “She’s not a tracking dog. She’s a single-purpose dog.”
Rue was purchased from Battle Ridge Kennels and K-9 Services of WV, Inc. a kennel and training center specializing in single-purpose and dual-purpose K-9s for law enforcement. They are located in Madison, Boone County. Her $6,000 price tag was paid for with funds from concealed carry permits. Local businesses 84 Lumber and Tractor Supply have also offered support for Rue. The Sheriff’s Department gratefully acknowledges their donations.
According to Ward, Rue all but paid for herself on her first night on the job. While investigating a series of burglaries in the Mathias area, the Sheriff’s deputies were led to a residence in Moorefield. Along with recovering stolen property, deputies recovered a small amount of heroin. Three days later, deputies returned to the residence with a search warrant and Rue. At that time they found heroin with a street value of $3,000.