IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho Falls Police Department welcomed a new potential K9, Skadi, a 6-month-old Belgian Malinois mix.
IFPD adopted Skadi from the Blackfoot Animal Shelter and Rescue. She will be training to become a single-purpose Explosives Detective K9 officer with her partner Detective David Shanor.
Skadi, formerly named Hitachi, came to the Blackfoot Animal Shelter and Rescue as a transfer from the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California. Skadi was surrendered to the shelter when her prior owners determined her high drive was not a good fit for their home. Skadi was transferred and spent about a week with the Blackfoot Animal Shelter before being adopted Wednesday.
Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent, high drive dogs, which makes them ideal for working-dog roles such as those in law enforcement. While spending time with her handler, Skadi will undergo training and testing to determine if she has the proper drive and aptitude for her intended role.
“Skadi is quite young and has great potential,” IFPD Public Information Officer Jessica Clements said. “So far, she is showing the drive needed for this role and our department is very excited to have her here. Over the coming months as she matures, our hope is that drive continues, her training goes well, and she becomes a valued member of the IFPD team.”
Skadi is intended to be an IFPD Explosives Detective K9. Skadi and her handler are expected to serve the Idaho Falls community and be part of the Idaho Falls Region 7 Bomb Squad, a fully accredited bomb squad commanded by an Idaho Falls Police Lieutenant and made up of officers from IFPD and deputies from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office. The Idaho Falls Regional Bomb Squad serves Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, and the greater Eastern Idaho region into the border areas of Montana and Wyoming.
The Idaho Falls Police Department currently has an Explosives Detective K9 who is approaching retirement. Bringing Skadi on at this time is intended to ensure minimal disruption of that specialty service when it is time for the current K9 to retire.
Many law enforcement K9s are purchased from entities that provide purpose-bred dogs with their initial testing and training already completed. While this method ensures that the dog will be suited for law nforcement work, there are some scenarios where it may be possible to adopt a dog from a shelter at a drastically lower cost and train them for the role. An IFPD Sergeant is currently certified in the instruction and training of law enforcement K9s and will be able to train both Skadi and Detective Shanor within the department.
The Idaho Falls Police Department has been working with shelters around the region for some time now in the hopes of finding a suitable adoptable dog.