By Anita Lee
The Sun Herald
GULFPORT, Miss. — As police K-9s go, Fred's a dud.
The Gulfport Police Department is sending the Belgian Malinois back from whence he came, U.S. K-9 Unlimited in Kaplan, La., Chief Leonard Papania said.
Fred was given the chance to turn things around, Papania said. It just wasn't happening.
He said the city paid $12,000 to $13,000 for Fred two years ago. That included his training at K-9 Unlimited, considered an excellent school for turning out top dogs.
"We'll get some of our money back for the dog when we bring him back to the facility," Papania said. "I can't speak specifically about what will happen with Fred. I can tell you nothing terrible will happen to Fred."
Fred can sniff out drugs. He can patrol. But he gets ... distracted. In searching a building, he might spy a soda can on the floor and start playing with it.
The Police Department has tried to train this out of him. He's been back to school. It just wasn't working.
Tuesday afternoon, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that declared Fred to be surplus property. Council action allows the Police Department to sell Fred back to K-9 Unlimited, whose owner has not returned a telephone call from the Sun Herald.
Fred will be missed.
"Your K-9 handlers do have a bond with these animals," Papania said. "They spend a lot of time with them. These animals are kept in their homes. You do have that working bond. But they also are aware of the ultimate responsibility we have with these animals."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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