When a replacement is found later this month or in early October, the newest recruit for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit will have some big paws to fill.
Bianca, the 11-year-old MCSO drug dog, is officially retired from active duty after nearly seven years of service. Suffering from arthritis, she will live out the rest of her life with former partner, now owner, Deputy Tom Thompson.
“She is still active and alert,” Thompson said. “When I put on my uniform and get ready for work, she’s excited and by the door ready to go.”
Bianca, a German shepherd specially trained for law enforcement narcotics work, has had an impressive career. In her 81 months of active service through June, she was deployed 3,857 times, producing 3,587 productive alerts. Bianca’s seizure totals are equally impressive:
• Residences: Approximately $2 million
• U.S. currency: Approximately $3 million
• Vehicles: Approximately $500,000
• Marijuana: Approximately 6,200 pounds
• Cocaine: Approximately 37 kilos
• Methamphetamine: Approximately 62 pounds
• Heroin: Approximately 36 grams
• Prescription drugs: Approximately 40,000 pills
“Bianca has been an important part of the public safety function and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office family,” Lt. Dan Norris said. “She has earned her retirement.”
While Bianca is retired, Thompson is not. He plans on making a trip to Indiana later this month or in early October to recruit a new dog to take over the canine responsibilities at MCSO.
“Dogs that assist law enforcement are specifically trained for narcotics, explosives, search and rescue or other functions,” Thompson said. “We’ll be securing a dog with narcotics training.”
The training increases the value of the dog. Thompson said Bianca was purchased at a cost of approximately $8,000 and he anticipates her replacement will be between $8,000 and $10,000.
“In the first week she started with MCSO, Bianca discovered more than $30,000 in illegal drugs,” Thompson said. “A good narcotic dog is expensive, but they are invaluable to law enforcement.”
What remains to be seen is how Bianca will get along with her replacement.
“She may be old and arthritic, but Bianca has always been an alpha dog – a leader of the pack,” Thompson said. “I suspect it will take some time for her to learn to live with a new dog that is taking her place.”
For more information about the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, visit www.mocosheriff.com.