Meet Daisy: Rescue Dog now on patrol at South Central School

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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JONESBOROUGH – Washington County Sheriff’s Office has another new K9 in training, and she has a unique story.

Daisy, a four-month-old German Shepherd, came to WCSO not from a breeder but from the Appalachian Highlands Humane Society (AHHS).

“We knew we wanted to add a third dog for our school program, and we had a School Resource Officer volunteer to become a K9 handler,” Sheriff Keith Sexton said. “Lucinda Grandy, president of the Humane Society, knew we were looking for a puppy. When Daisy was surrendered, she immediately thought of us.”

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Daisy came to the Humane Society after her owner discovered the pup was just a little too much for her to handle. School Resource Officer Andy Edwards expressed an interest in becoming an ambassador dog handler, so the timing worked out extremely well.

SRO Edwards picked Daisy up from AHHS over the summer and began training Daisy. Her first day on the job was the first day of school. As of now all three ambassador dogs working in Washington County Schools are German Shepherds. Karma and Phoenix, sisters donated to WCSO in 2022, work at Boones Creek and Jonesborough Schools respectively.

“Ambassador dogs serve an important purpose in our schools,” Sexton explained. “Kids love dogs. They’ll approach a dog before they’ll approach a deputy. We want them to bond with the dog and the deputy to develop that relationship. In fact, we’ve had kids in schools that are afraid of dogs end up petting our ambassador dogs and overcoming that fear.”

K9 Daisy will patrol the grounds with School Resource Officer Andy Edwards. All of WCSO K9s live with their handlers. Ambassador K9s are not currently trained in narcotics, apprehension or article detection.

All Ambassador K9s are trained to American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen standards:
* Accepting a friendly stranger
* Sitting politely for petting
* Accepting grooming/an examination from somebody other than the owner
* Reacting politely to other dogs
* Sitting and lying down on cue and staying in place
* Coming when called
* Walking on a loose leash
* Reacting calmly to a distraction such as a dropped chair
* Reacting calmly to supervised separation from the owner

WCSO has five working dogs: Mafia, Ronin and Rico are narcotics, article and apprehension dogs; Balu is a kinetic detection dog and works in all the schools as well as special events; and Arlo is a tracking dog. Plans are to acquire an additional narcotics dog this fall.