After the sudden death of Zionsville Police Dept. K-9 Thor from unforeseen medical issues earlier this year at the age of 6, the department has announced the purchase of a new K-9.
Sky is a female Dutch Shepherd who was trained in Denver, Ind, at Vohne Liche Kennels, which is a full-service K-9 training facility. Funds for the K-9 were raised from community donations after an outpouring of support following Thor’s death.
Sky will join Mika on the ZPD force. Mika joined in 2020.
Sky is paired with ZPD Officer Cameron Smith, who was also Thor’s handler. Smith started a six-week training course with Sky on March 7. The training ends on April 15, at which time Sky will begin working with the ZPD.
“She was chosen over more than 10 other K-9’s because she displayed natural abilities that surpassed the competition,” Smith said. “I am positive that once done with training, we will be able to protect and serve Zionsville and the surrounding areas in a great way.”
Smith said the training course will be intensive and is designed to train Sky in obedience and enhance her proficiencies in narcotics detection, tracking, and criminal apprehension.
Taking place at the same Vohne Liche Kennels Sky came from, the course will also train Smith to bond with the K-9 and read her behaviors.
“Training takes place both day and night, rain or shine, and in a variety of buildings and environments in order to subject the handler and K-9 to as many different scenarios as possible to ensure that we’re both ready to effectively hit the ground running at the end of the course,” Smith said.
Smith said all of the department’s K-9s have gone through the same course with excellent results.
“Sky is going to be a phenomenal asset to the community of Zionsville,” Smith said. “I am confident that she will follow in the immense footsteps that K-9 Thor laid during the past few years.”