Warner Robins police dogs get badges

chwright@macon.comMarch 27, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- As thousands of volunteers had their eyes open for a missing boy last May, Ego was one that had his nose to the ground.

The police dog led the last one-and-a-half miles of a five-mile search Warner Robins K-9s conducted while looking for 10-year-old Kit Colburn. The four-dog pack didn’t make the headlines, but they played an important part in the search, Ego’s handler Sgt. Wayne Fisher said Wednesday.

“From that, we were able to determine (the boy) was right around ... the lower Bay Gall area,” said Fisher, K-9 unit supervisor.

Ego and two of his companions were recognized for their work with badges they will now wear. Kevin Barry, a local State Farm agent, donated money for the small badges that look much like a standard police officer’s.

“They are police officers and not just tools and resources that we use every day,” said Tabitha Pugh, police spokeswoman.

Ego has been on the force since 2010. Rasty, who serves with officer James Bish, and Ollie, who serves with officer Zach Sauls, have been on the force since 2009. They will begin wearing their new badges when special hardware arrives, Pugh said.

Barry said he donated the badges because he was raised by a law enforcement agent. His father retired from a Florida department, Barry said.

Fisher said K-9s, especially to their handlers, are more than dogs. They’re partners.

“It’s not just yourself you have to worry about,” he said. “In everything you do, you have your K-9 to consider.”

Fisher and Ego have been together for three years. As with the other dogs, they spend most of their time together, even at home.

“Just like any match, we try to match personalities,” Fisher explained, stroking Ego’s neck as the dog leaned into his body.

The police department’s K-9 unit began in 1995. Besides the three given badges, there is also a basset hound, Marmaduke, used primarily in missing person cases.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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