Meet our K-9 teams!
K9 Benco was born on September 11, 2014 in Germany. K9 Benco is trained and certified in Patrol, Explosive Detection and SWAT. As the SWAT K9 he is integrated with the team and deploys on all operations. K9 Benco was the first integrated SWAT K9 for the agency. This assignment has led to attending high level training in different areas of the country. K9 Benco has a tenacity for work and is always high speed and ready to go. He has located numerous suspects and missing persons along with recovery evidence. K9 Benco is a member of the Regional EOD K9 Team and has participated in several large events. On his off time, K9 Benco loves hanging out with his family and chewing on his bone. His favorite treat is ice cubes.
K-9 Brasko was born in Germany on November 6, 2013. He completed his patrol school in May of 2015 and a short time later competed his Narcotics school. K-9 Brasko has attended several narcotics certifications and seminars, and in 2015 and 2017 was awarded first place from over 100 dogs from all over the US in narcotics detection. When not at work K-9 Brasko walks around the house with his Kong and waits for a family member to start playing fetch with him.
Buster was born at the Lake Bloodhound Kennels in North Florida on Sept 19, 2015. He was ten weeks old when he started his career at the Sheriff’s Office. He is used as a tracking dog here at the Sheriff’s Office and his specialty is missing people. Bloodhounds have the ability to track with very long time delays and can discriminate scent. This means that if they are given a specific scent to follow at the beginning of a track, they can locate and pick out that specific person. Buster is very good at his job and has even found people that were missing for several hours. Because of his ability he is often called to assist other agencies both in and outside of Pasco County. Buster gets certified every year by the National Police Bloodhound Association. On his days off Buster enjoys laying around the house, swimming in the pool, and occasionally jumping on the trampoline.
K9 BuzzK9 Buzz is a Belgian Malinois with a little German Shepard thrown in for good measure. He was born in Holland on August 7th, 2017. He started his career at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in January of 2019. He is a certified Patrol K9 which includes tracking, area searches, building searches, obedience, evidence recovery, and apprehension work. He loves coming to work, but when off duty he likes to hang out in the shade with his Kong or lay on his bean bag.
K9 Chris is a German Shepherd who was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by a private citizen. Chris is a very strong and intense pup who loves this job. K-9 Chris started his career with the Sheriff’s Office in June of 2017 and Patrol Certified. The team also completed Explosive Detection training in 2017, and they are a part of the Tampa Bay Regional Bomb Squad. They are assisting Federal and surrounding agencies with Dignitary protection and high profile events such as the Gasparilla Parades and sporting events.
K9 DobiesK9 Dobies is a Black Lab and was born in Hungary on Sept. 18, 2013. He began working with the Sheriff’s Office on July 5, 2016 with his specialty being Narcotic Detection. K9 Dobies is currently the oldest K9 working for the agency but doesn’t act like it. K9 Dobies currently works as the PIO K9, but still works with the Pasco County Schools conducting narcotic searches. K9 Dobies loves squeaky toys, especially his duck that he has had for over three years and has yet to destroy it. K9 Dobies has to be the only lab that does not like showers or rain, but for some reason loves the pool.
Doc is a yellow labrador who was born on March 18, 2014 in the Netherlands. He began his career sniffing out illegal narcotics for the Pasco County Sheriffs office since March 2016. K9 Doc was purchased with a generous donation from 2 time Cy Young award winner, Roy “Doc” Halladay and his family. K9 Doc’s favorite treats are ice cubes and he loves attention.
K9 Farrell is a German Shepherd born on 11/4/15 in the Czech Republic. He started his career with the Sheriff’s Office in February of 2017. Farrel is a certified patrol K9 and also certified in narcotics detection. Farrell enjoys playing with his tug toy and his Kong. He is energetic and enjoys going to work.
K9 Hela is a Golden Retriever born in Colombia, South America on December 13th, 2016. I started working for the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in April of 2018. My specialty is the detection of dangerous narcotics. When I am not at work, I like to play with my big brother Thor who retired after serving Pasco County as a patrol K9 for 9 years in 2018.
Jango is a German Shepherd Dog, and has a sable coat. He is trained in apprehension and narcotic detection, however he is used in narcotics detection only at this stage in his career. At home he is in constant motion and loves playing with his adopted brother, retired K9 Fin. The two of them see the house as their private playground and consider anyone else as trespassers. He is a creature of habit and is up early. He knows when it is time for work, by the habits of his handler on work mornings. He loves to fetch, especially branches of tress that have fallen. Yes, tree BRANCHES.
K9 J.R. is a German Shepherd born in Germany on March 29, 2016. J.R. was purchased with funds donated to the Pasco Sheriff’s K9 Association from a very generous citizen in October 2017. J.R. was named by the donor after the unit’s lead K9 trainer, Cpl. John Rux. J.R. is trained as a multi-purposed K9 and skilled in the disciplines of tracking, criminal apprehension, evidence recovery, obedience, area searches and building searches. J.R. is handled by his partner, Deputy Chris Stone.
Dep. Stone came to the Sheriff’s Office in 2016 from the Dade City Police Department where he worked for 14 years as a K9 handler. Prior to transferring to the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, Dep. Stone worked as a Fire/Arson Detective in a joint unit with Pasco Fire Rescue. Dep. Stone is also a certified FDLE K9 instructor and assists with training as needed. When off duty, J.R. enjoys playing with retired Dade City Police K9 Ryko and relaxing with his partner’s family.
K9 Knox was born January 2017 and came to the Sheriff’s office at 8 weeks old. K9 Knox was purchased for the Sheriff’s office by a Pasco County resident and supporter of the K9 Unit. K9 Knox underwent extensive training to track and trail missing persons and fleeing criminals. K9 Knox was certified through the National Police Bloodhound Association at 10 months old.
K9 Knox is handled by Dep. Rob Wilkins who has been with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office since 2000. Dep. Wilkins has been a K9 handler for ten years and previously handled K9 Copper (Bloodhound) and K9 Lee (German Shepherd).
When off duty K9 Knox lives with Dep. Wilkins and enjoys playing “Keep Away” with his Boarder Collie friend Scout.
K9 Mac is a 20 month old Labrador retriever. Mac came to the Pasco Sheriffs in October of 2017. Mac’s job in the near future will be to locate cadavers both on land and in the water. Mac is black in color and weighs 40 pounds. Her partner is Scott Grant who is a retired K9 handler and has returned as a volunteer to work with K9 Mac.
K9 Phi was born on 1/29/16 in Georgia. He is NNDDA certified in the land and water detection of human remains. Phi has assisted the FBI on numerous cases as well as other law enforcement agencies for homicides, missing people, and cold cases. On his off time Phi likes to go on walks, play fetch, and lounge in the sun.
K9 Shep is a 4 year old German Shepherd and was purchased in August of 2015. K9 Shep is from Hungary and was only in the states for two weeks before being paired with Deputy Carmack. Deputy Carmack and K9 Shep did a 16 week patrol school with K9 trainer J. Rux and was FDLE certified in December of 2015. K9 Shep also received a certification in narcotics detection in September of 2016. K9 Shep loves to track bad people and find narcotics hidden in vehicles. After every catch K9 Shep gets he receives doggy ice-cream when he gets home. K9 Shep loves to go to work and while Deputy Carmack gets dressed he waits at the door waiting to leave. Deputy Carmack and K9 Shep have a great bond and love to patrol the streets of Pasco County.
Hi, My name is Smitty. I was born in Hungary on Novemeber 8, 2017. I started work at the Sheriff’s Office on November 17, 2018. My specialties on the team include tracking people, searching areas and buildings, and finding evidence. I am also on the SWAT team. My favorite food is high-protein dog food. My favorite toy is my kong pull-toy. What I love about my job at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is catching bad guys. When I am not at work, I like to play fetch and to be petted a lot. Other interesting facts about me: I like going to the park and running around, and also going out on the lake.
K9 Strong was born on January 14th, 2015 in the country of Hungary. She joined the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in December 2016 and is one of only a few female K9’s in the unit. K9 Strong is a single purpose narcotics detection K9 and is currently assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Highway Interdiction Team with her handler. K9 Strong is very energetic, loves to go to work, and is very good at detecting the odor of illegal narcotics. At home she loves playing in the back yard, going to the doggie park, and relaxing with the family.
Titan- K9 Titan is a German Shepherd who was born 8/22/14 in Germany. He was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by Wesley Chapel Nissan in December of 2015. K9 Titan is a dual-purpose K9 who can track and apprehend suspects as well as detect explosive material. At home, K9 Titan enjoys relaxing with his partner and family. He loves chasing balls in the yard and is extremely patient while being a “patient” getting check-ups by his partner’s daughter.
K9 TrinityK9 Trinity is a German Shepard, born in Hungry on June 24, 2015. K9 Trinity is an illegal narcotics detection K9, and is currently assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Interdiction Unit. K9 Trinity holds two narcotic detection certificates, one from NNDDA (National Narcotic Detector Dog Association) and the other from the Tampa Bay Regional K9 Instructor Group. K9 Trinity’s work has resulted in 100’s of arrest and narcotics seized, which makes her one of the most successful narcotics detection K9’s in the Sheriff’s Office.
K9 Yager was born in Slovakia on October 15th, 2015 and was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by CCS Medical Group and has been a patrol FDLE certified K9 since 2017. K9 Yager is currently trained in obedience, agility, evidence recovery, building/area searches, tracking, and criminal apprehension. K9 Yager is also nationally certified in narcotics detection. K9 Yager is highly intelligent and always eager to work. He is extremely driven and will find and retrieve any toy endlessly.
K9 Yogi is a German Shepherd, who was born on November 5th, 2013. His handler is K9 Deputy Mark Pini. This team has been working together since 2015. K9 Yogi’s specialties include tracking bad guys, missing people or children, narcotics detection, and apprehension. A few fun facts about K9 Yogi. His favorite toy is a tug toy and will do absolutely anything to get it. Going to work is his favorite and often times you can find him near the front door barking and jumping in circles as his handler puts on the uniform. He has also been on the TV show Live Pd.
Our Retired K9s!
K-9 Thor was born on April 10, 2008 in Mannheim, Germany. K-9 Thor is dual certified in both patrol tactics and narcotic detection. K-9 Thor went through a strenuous 520 hour patrol training school. The patrol school prepared him for all aspects of his job which includes: obedience, agility, evidence recovery, building and area searches, tracking and criminal apprehension. K-9 Thor graduated patrol school in February 2010 and has been protecting streets of Pasco County ever since. K-9 Thor plays a very important role in training while Cpl. Rux instructs the new handlers. Cpl. Rux will use K-9 Thor to show the new handlers how to perform all the aspects of training so the new handlers can see it before they do it with their new partners. But ultimately, K-9 Thor would rather be at the end of the lead hunting down criminals and locating missing or endangered people.
Corporal John Rux has been employed with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office since 1996 and was assigned to the K-9 Unit in March of 1998. Corporal Rux was teamed up with his first partner, K-9 Emir, for 5 years before being partnered up with K-9 Sam in 2002. Corporal Rux worked K-9 Sam until 2010 when he was assigned K-9 Thor. In 2004 Corporal Rux went to K-9 Instructor school and quickly became the Head K-9 Trainer for Pasco Sheriff’s Office along with the city municipalities within the county. Corporal Rux is also a FDLE State Certified K-9 Evaluator which allows him to go around the state and certify other K-9 teams. Cpl Rux has trained over 30 K-9 Patrol teams and 15 Narcotic Detector K-9 teams to date.
In 2001 Corporal Rux was awarded the Suncoast 10-13 Club Deputy of the Year. The Suncoast 10-13 Club are retired New York City Police Officers from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties and each year they take cases from all three counties and pick the best one to give the award to.
In 2006 Corporal Rux and K-9 Sam were awarded the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year award.
Handler Dep. Joe Liddick is a former United States Marine who joined the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in 1996 and became a member of the K-9 Unit in 2000. In 2008, Joe partnered with 9-month-old K-9 Ace and the team hit the streets a few months later. This K-9 team has successfully tracked and located over 340 people to date, and they hold the record for the most catches in a single year at 75. Joe and Ace have located everyone from missing children to Homicide suspects.
The team was awarded 2014 Pasco Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year.
They are also certified in Explosive Detection and area a part of the Tampa Bay Regional Bomb Squad. They have assisted F.B.I., Secrete Service, ATF, FDLE, and other surrounding agencies with Dignitary protection and high profile events such as the 2012 National Republican Convention.
Deputy Liddick considers it an absolute blessing to be partnered with K-9 Ace and to be able to serve Pasco County. Nothing like playing “hide and seek” for a living.
K9 Eragon is a dual purpose police dog that is trained in patrol, tracking and narcotics detection. Eragon was born in Germany on Christmas Eve 2007 and came to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in 2009. He has been partnered with Deputy Cliff Baltzer since February 2009. He began patrol after 580 hours of intensive training. Eragon is a loyal partner and one of the more experienced K-9’s with the unit. He is dedicated to serving the citizens of Pasco County. Eragon has accomplished over 280 apprehensions, as well as completing numerous drug finds, building searches, and article searches. Eragon is an extremely loyal partner and makes being a K-9 handler worth every minute of the job.
K9 Jet is partner of Cpl Anthony Petersen. K9 Jet is a 7 year old German Shepard who was brought to the United States from Germany with the purpose of becoming a police K9. Jet was in the country about a week prior to being paired up with Cpl Petersen in December of 2011. K9 Jet is dual certified in both patrol work and narcotics detection. Jet’s favorite toy is a tennis ball and he has the ability to carry up to three at a time.
K9 Fin is three and half years old, and has been with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office about 2 and half years. He is a Patrol K9 and he is also a Narcotic Detection K9. He is the largest German Shephard in the unit, and weighs approximately 92 pounds currently. K9 Fin actually has more experience than his handler, Sergeant Cabbage, and he never lets him forget it.
At home, Fin is super laid back and enjoys a good knuckle bone to chew on. He enjoys playing outside when off duty and will chase a tennis ball until you are tired of throwing it. Although full of energy, Fin definitely enjoys down time at home and has been known to nap with all four legs in the air. So far,there has been no complaints about his snoring from his neighbors!