A rescue dog from Walla Walla is making a difference in Bend, Oregon. Now named Sassy, the dog was taken to the Blue Mountain Humane Society in Walla Walla as a stray. She was never reclaimed. That is until she caught the eye of Bend Police Officer Jeff Perkins.
In October 2019 Perkins was selected as a drug detection dog handler and was certified through the Washington Department of Corrections’ 240-hour handler school. While at school, he met Sassy. The two immediately got to work training together.
“Sassy is believed to be 2-3 years old and is likely a mix of Australian Kelpie and other breeds,” Juli-ann McConkey, public information officer for the Bend Police Department, said.
As for the name Sassy, McConkey added, “Officer Perkins said her name is very fitting for her.”
Certified through both the Washington State Police Canine Association and the Oregon Police Canine Association, Perkins and Sassy are now back in Bend working the streets as a patrol team locating narcotics in vehicles, closed packages, in buildings and at crime scenes.
“We traditionally have purchased our dogs from larger vendors that breed-specific types of dogs,” Lt. Clint Burleigh said. “We were made aware of the program operated by the Washington Department of Corrections and they use a local shelter to supply dogs for all of their classes. One of our current sergeants came over from Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office and he participated in the same program while at Clatsop County. He spoke very highly of this narcotics program put on by the Washington Department of Corrections. Officer Perkins spoke very highly of the program and is very excited to work with Sassy.”
In a statement sent to KTEL News, the Bend Police Department wrote, “Sassy is such a treasure to our department, and it is even more amazing that she is a rescue dog.”