Rango the K9 police dog visits pre-vet class


Bridget Murphy

Corporal Atkins with his K-9, Rango.

by Lauren Hall, Reporter

From the Frederick County Police Department, Corporal Atkins and Rango, Atkins’ K9, visited Mrs. Beachy’s Pre-Veterinarian class.

“I invited Corporal Atkins to visit with Rango during pre-vet’s dog unit. I contacted him through Deputy Jones,” said Mrs. Beachy.

Corporal Atkins demonstrated an article search by tossing his keys on the ground and having Rango sniff them out.

Rango is a 72lb, eight-year-old Dutch Shepherd.

Corporal Atkins explained that when police dogs are selected, they’re normally around a year old instead of being puppies. When a K9 is matched with a handler, sometimes K9s can be loyal to only one person and can’t be matched with more than one handler.

To become a K9 trainer, Atkins said, one must have at least seven years of experience of being a K9 handler. K9s have to go to a certification school and then join an apprenticeship.

Police dogs have no ranks. Rango works every day that Atkins works, usually tracking narcotics. Atkins joked that the dog should probably have a rank and deemed him, “Corporal Rango.”

Equipment that Atkins brings with him in his K9 police car includes at least 10 different leashes, all different lengths, a K9 bullet-proof vest, and an electronic collar.

Thank you, Corporal Atkins and Rango for giving our pre-vet class an inside peek on what life as a police dog handler is like.