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April 5, 2017

Sheriff K-9s’ footing better, thanks to Home Depot

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Home Depot’s Bob Wiley and Walt Jessup watch Bane and Master Deputy James Arrington try the new training stairs.
The Fauquier sheriff’s K-9 unit has a more realistic training environment, thanks to a donation from the Home Depot in Warrenton.

Bane and Dazee tried out the new steps Tuesday afternoon at their training center off Green Road south of town.

Up and town the unusual set of steps they went. Each tread has a different surface — wood, synthetic planking, carpet and non-skid.

“Some dogs don’t like different surfaces; it kinda freaks them out,” explained Sgt. Chad Brubaker, who heads the sheriff’s five-member K-9 unit.

Freelance journalist Chris Primi recently did a story on the sheriff’s dogs and handlers for Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine. During the interview, Mr. Primi learned that the training center could use a set of stairs to simulate different surfaces.

He mentioned the idea to a Home Depot manager during a visit to the store. The Home Depot staff took it from there with donated materials and labor.

Garden Department Manager Bob Wiley and store Manager Walt Jessup delivered the gift Tuesday and stuck around to watch Bane and Dazee give it a workout.

The 3-year-old German shepherd mix and the pit bull mix of undermined age — because she came from the Fauquier SPCA — bounded up and down the stairs. Master Deputies James Arrington and Joy Weaver worked their canine partners with practiced ease.

The next time they encounter an unusual floor surface, the dogs should be better prepared.

“Home Depot deserves a lot of credit,” Sgt. James Hartman said. “It’s a tremendous gesture.”
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