BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KFSM) — The Benton County Sheriff’s Office wants to introduce everyone to its newest team member, K9 Officer Chase.
She's been with her partner Deputy Mindy Murray for about six months. The 8-month old pup serves a very specific purpose within the department.
“We’re looking for missing and lost people and we can track for fugitives, but our main goal is for those missing," Murray said.
When people look at Chase, they see a big nose, long ears and loads of wrinkles, but that look is designed it helps Chase do her job.
"The really long nose, it helps her smell new tracks, old tracks, some even 30 minutes to an hour old," Murray said. "The wrinkles in her face serve a purpose. They hold on to that scent and then those big droopy ears, as much as we like to play with them, they funnel that scent in."
Chase is the first trained tracking bloodhound for the Benton County Sherriff’s Office. Soon she’ll be joined by K9 Officer Ivy who’s still in training.
“Now that we got Chase and we got her trained, we’ll be able to find people really easily," Lt. Shannon Jenkins said.
Chase has already had two successful tracks in her short time at the department. She found a missing kid and a lost hiker.
“I was tired on that track. Chase kept looking at me like come on, but it was very impressive. She’s a big goofball but when it’s time to work she goes to work," Murray said.
Deputy Murray says Chase isn’t just her partner, she’s also her best friend.
“I think I take more pictures of Chase than I do my kids, but I’m with her every day and we’ve just really bonded. I couldn’t imagine doing this job without her. We are definitely a team," Murray said.
Chase is also being trained as a comfort animal.