The Missoula Police Department is adding two new officers to replace two others that have recently retired, but these new additions are a bit more furry than their fellow officers. Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

"K9's Ryker and Halo are officially retired and they have been replaced by two new dogs," said Welsh. "They are named Jip and Sunka. Ryker was in service from 2007 to 2015 and Halo was in service from 2012 to 2016."

Welsh says the retired dogs may no longer be in service with the police department, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have to leave their partners. Both retired dogs were adopted by their former handlers.

"It is nice because there is really quite a bond that is established between a handler and his working partner," Welsh said. "It is tough just to say goodbye and we are not going to do anything with you anymore. So the fact that they get to stay with somebody they are comfortable with, that they have grown attached to and established that bond with, is really nice for the dogs and the handlers too."

The new K9 officers will spend hundreds of hours training with their partners in tracking, searching and detecting the odor of narcotics before they are certified and deployed on the street.

Photo Courtesy Of MPD Facebook
Photo Courtesy Of MPD Facebook

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