FARMINGTON — A bloodhound tracker is coming to Davis County.
A breeder in Iowa has donated a puppy that will be trained along with its handler as a new K9 unit for the sheriff's office, Sheriff Kelly Sparks said.
"It's a little bit of a change for us," Sparks said. "It's not a dog to do typical patrol work. It will be great at tracking fugitives and it will have some application in search and rescue."
The county is contracting with Hound ‘Em Tracking of Bountiful to train the pup and its handler.
Under the deal, trainer Mike Serio will be paid $40 per hour, up to $10,000, to get the team to operational status.
Lori Hansen, of Hansen Hounds in Blockton, Iowa, said she has a litter of bloodhounds born Oct. 20. Serio and the handler from the sheriff's office are scheduled to go to her location to test the litter.
"They get first pick," she said. "They're driving 16 hours to get here to pick it up."
Hansen said Serio knew about her operation because the Salt Lake City Police Department has one of her bloodhounds.
"We have pups all over the United States and all over the world," Hansen said. "We try to breed the best dog that we can for law enforcement and search and rescue, and they also make great companions."
Davis County's new effort fits that purpose.
"We're really excited about this opportunity because they're just getting their program off the ground," she said.
Hansen added, "We're not breeding them to make a lot of money. I get satisfaction out of the dogs doing what they're bred to do."
Sparks said his office has been working on the bloodhound project most of the year. It has nothing to do with the recent loss of Chopper, a Davis patrol K9 who was hit by a car and killed Nov. 20, he said.