LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is proud to welcome K-9 Jade, K-9 Havok and K-9 Maja into our K-9 Unit. All three canines have recently been certified through the International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA). K-9 Jade came to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office when she was the victim of an animal cruelty investigation on Nov. 11, 2020. Corporal Dale Smith investigated the complaint of a dog shot multiple times with a BB gun. Animal Control Officers seized the dog in order to get her veterinary care. Due to evidence of ongoing abuse and no owner coming forward to claim her, the seized dog was placed in the care of the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville.

Cpl. Smith and K-9 Jade

After hearing about the criminal investigation and seizure, Corporal Lacey Smith reached out to Animal Control and the Animal Shelter with hopes of adopting the dog. On Dec. 1, 2020, Cpl. Lacey Smith officially adopted “Jade,” the approximately two-year-old Black Labrador Retriever. Jade began showing behavior traits indicating she would excel as a working dog. Cpl. Lacey Smith and Corporal William Rishel immediately started training Jade to see if she had the skills and discipline necessary to be an Explosives Detection K-9. K-9 Jade exceeded all expectations and on April 15, 2021, just five months after her rescue and adoption, Cpl. Lacey Smith and K-9 Jade certified through IPWDA in Explosives Detection.

Cpl. Rishel and K-9 Havoc

K-9 Havoc is a two-year-old Malinois. He previously worked internationally and was trained in explosives detection prior to coming to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. K-9 Havoc and his handler, Cpl. William Rishel, certified in Explosives Detection through IPWDA on Dec. 30, 2020.

DFC Henry and K-9 Maja

K-9 Maja is a one-year-old Dutch Shepard. On April 29, 2021, K-9 Maja and her handler, Deputy First Class Philip Henry, completed an intensive six-month training program with the Anne Arundel County Police K-9 Unit. K-9 Maja and DFC Henry are now IPWDA certified in narcotics detection and patrol functions.

We are grateful for the assistance provided by the Anne Arundel County Police Department. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit looks forward to continuing to serve our community with our new additions.