The Pasco Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit is of vital importance. Our K-9’s risk their lives daily without asking anything in return. They serve and protect our deputies and our citizens with loyalty and humility. Their only reward is playtime with their favorite tug toys and the loving care they are given by their partners. But, the tasks we ask of them are great and require expert training.
- track and rescue missing and abducted individuals
- track and apprehend dangerous criminals
- work on patrol with their deputy partners
- conduct vehicle searches for drugs and other contraband items
- detect bombs and other dangerous explosives
- assist with warrant sweeps
- assist the SWAT team as necessary
Sustaining our K-9’s, both active and retired, requires the funds to train and equip them, as well as provide the high level of care and maintenance they deserve.
YOU can make a difference in the lives of our K-9’s. Show our K-9’s you appreciate the loyal service they have willingly undertaken to protect YOU.
Meet our K-9 teams!
K9 Benco is a German Shepherd born on Sept. 11, 2014 in Germany. K9 Benco is trained and certified in Patrol, Explosive Detection and SWAT and began working with PSO in Dec. 2015. As the SWAT K9, he is integrated with the team and deploys on their operations. K9 Benco was the first integrated SWAT K9 for PSO. He is a member of the Regional Explosive Ordnance Detection K9 Team and has participated in several large events. K9 Benco has a tenacity for work and is always ready to go. On his off time, K9 Benco loves hanging out with his family and chewing on his bone. His favorite treat is ice cubes.
K9 Brasko was born in Germany on Nov. 6, 2013. He is a German Shepherd and began working for PSO in May 2015. He is certified for Patrol and Narcotics Detection. K9 Brasko has attended numerous narcotics certifications and seminars, and in both 2015 and 2017 was awarded first place from over 100 dogs from all over the U.S. in narcotics detection. When not at work, K9 Brasko insists on his family members playing fetch with him and his favorite toy, his Kong.
K9 Buster, a Bloodhound, was born in Florida on Sept. 19, 2015. His specialty is tracking and locating missing people, and is certified by the National Police Bloodhound Association. Bloodhounds have the ability to track with long time delays and can track specific scents, even when faced with the scent of multiple people at once. K9 Buster is often called to assist other agencies, both within and outside of Pasco County. On his days off, K9 Buster enjoys laying around the house, swimming in the pool and occasionally jumping on the trampoline.
K9 Buzz is a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd cross. He was born in the Netherlands on Aug. 7, 2017. He started his career at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in Jan. 2019. He is a certified Patrol K9 which includes tracking, area searches, building searches, obedience, evidence recovery and apprehension work. K9 Buzz loves working, but when off-duty, he likes to relax in the shade with his Kong or lay on his bean bag.
AAT K9 Charlie
Animal Assisted Therapy K9 Charlie is a Pit Bull mix assigned to the Behavioral Health Intervention Team. He was born Oct. 18, 2018. AAT K9 Charlie was rescued from a Brevard County shelter and was trained as a therapy dog as part of Brevard County Sheriff’s Office’s “Paws & Stripes” program, in which inmates learn valuable skills while teaching dogs to be calm and confident companions. AAT K9 Charlie is nationally certified as a therapy K9 and holds an AKC Good Citizen certification. He brings a calm presence to calls for service and to citizens experiencing a mental health crisis. AAT K9 Charlie is the first therapy K9 employed at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
K9 Diesel is Labrador Retriever born in Maine on March 29, 2018. He is certified in human remains detection, and began working for PSO in July 2019. He is currently the only K9 integrated with PSO’s Forensics Unit full time and is one of the only forensics-integrated K9s in the country. This ensures that K9 Diesel’s finds are preserved immediately, instead of waiting for a forensics team to arrive to begin processing a scene. When it comes to food, he doesn’t pick favorites – he loves it all!
K9 Dobies is a Labrador Retriever and was born in Hungary on Sept. 18, 2013. He began working at PSO on July 2016, and is certified in narcotics detection. K9 Dobies has many jobs, including serving as the Community Relations K9 and working with the PSO School Resource Unit to conduct narcotic searches at Pasco County schools. K9 Dobies loves squeaky toys, swimming in the pool and meeting new people. The funds for K9 Dobies were generously donated by Tom Dobies.
K9 Doc is a Labrador Retriever who was born on March 18, 2014 in the Netherlands. He’s been certified for illegal narcotics detection since March 2016. Doc’s favorite treats are ice cubes. K9 Doc was purchased with a generous donation from 2-time Cy Young award winner, Roy “Doc” Halladay and his family.
K9 Farrell is a German Shepherd born on Nov. 4, 2015 in the Czech Republic. He started his career with PSO in February 2017. K9 Farrell is a certified patrol K9 and also certified in narcotics detection. K9 Farrell enjoys playing with his tug toy and his Kong. He is energetic and enjoys going to work. The funds for K9 Farrell were generously donated by the Farrell family.
K9 FJ is a Belgian Malinois born in the Czech Republic on Aug. 2, 2017. He is the first Belgian Malinois at PSO. K9 FJ is certified in narcotics detection and patrol work, and began working at PSO in Jan. 2019. His favorite toys include his tug and tennis balls. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family at home. The funds for K9 FJ were generously donated by Wesley Chapel Toyota and he was named for Toyota’s FJ Cruiser.
K9 Hela is a Golden Retriever born in Colombia on Dec. 13, 2016. She began working with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in April 2018. Her specialty is illegal narcotics detection. K9 Hela is the first Golden Retriever employed by PSO. K9 Hela’s name comes from Norse mythology, in which Hela is Thor’s younger sister. When not working, K9 Hela spends her time playing with her older brother, retired PSO K9 Thor.
K9 Hemi is a Bloodhound born in Kentucky in February 2021. K9 Hemi is a littermate of K9 Shelby. K9 Hemi is in training and will begin working as a single purpose tracking K9 when he is closer to a year old. The funds for K9 Hemi were generously donated by Ferman of New Port Richey.
K9 Hero is a Belgian Malinois that was born on June 11, 2018. He began working for PSO in Feb. 2020 and is certified in narcotics detection and patrol work. K9 Hero enjoys spending his off time napping to save his energy for his work. K9 Hero is currently assigned to the Highway Interdiction Team, which helps keep Pasco safe from the trafficking of illegal narcotics.
K9 Hunter is a Labrador Retriever who was born in Colombia on Jan. 30, 2019. He is certified in narcotics detection and began working with PSO in May 2020. K9 Hunter is assigned to the Court Services Bureau, where he helps prevent the introduction of illegal narcotics to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, and is one of the first K9s to hold this distinction. His favorite food is carrots and loves any toy that squeaks. The funds for K9 Hunter were generously donated by the Lake Jovita Women’s Club.
K9 Jango is a German Shepherd born in Germany on Nov. 13, 2013. He is certified in patrol work and narcotics detection and began working with PSO in Jan. 2015. He loves to fetch and his favorite things to fetch are tree branches, no matter the size! K9 Jango loves working and in particular, loves to find illegal narcotics to keep the citizens of Pasco safe.
AAT K9 JoJo
AAT K9 JoJo is a Labrador Retriever who was born in Colombia on June 10, 2018. He began working for PSO in May 2020. AAT K9 JoJo began his career at PSO as a narcotics detection K9 that was assigned to the Court Services Bureau, where he helps prevent the introduction of these drugs into the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. He was one of the first K9s to be in this assignment. Unfortunately, K9 JoJo was diagnosed with cancer when he was 2 and was medically retired. However, chemotherapy put K9 JoJo into full remission. K9 JoJo then returned to service as an animal-assisted therapy K9, which is a lower stress job than narcotics detection. He provides a calm presence to high stress situations, and sometimes just a smile to those who need it. The funds for K9 JoJo were generously donated by the Lake Jovita Women’s Club.
K9 Joker is a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix from Hungary. He was born on December 10, 2019 and began working for PSO in April 2021. He is currently assigned to the Court Services Bureau to work within the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, at county courthouses and with inmate work crews to prevent the introduction of illegal narcotics to secure facilities. He is a single purpose narcotics detection K9 with high drive and energy, who lives to play, and by extension, work.
K9 Knox was born Jan. 7, 2017 in Florida and began working for PSO when he was just 10 months old in Oct. 2017. K9 Knox is a Bloodhound who is certified through the National Police Bloodhound Association to track missing people and criminals who have fled. K9 Knox can track a specific person, even through a crowd, if he gets to smell something that belongs to them. K9 Knox is also part of the Community Relations Unit. His favorite food is cheese and loves playing tug-o-war when not at work.
K9 Mac is a Labrador Retriever who was born in Jan. 2016 in Alabama. She began working for PSO in Nov. 2017. K9 Mac is certified in human remains detection, both on land and in the water. K9 Mac often assists agencies with work throughout the state of Florida. She loves playing with her Kong toy.
K9 Maddie is a Labrador Retriever born in Maine on August 22, 2018. She began working for PSO on May 28, 2020. K9 Maddie is certified as a “live find” K9, who is able to find people after disasters. She is the first live find K9 to be employed with PSO. The funds for K9 Maddie were generously donated by the Moore family, and named in honor of their daughter, Maddie, who passed away in 2017 and wished to pursue a career in forensics.
AAT K9 Mango
AAT K9 Mango was born sometime around Oct. 2018 and began working at PSO in April 2020. He is assigned to PSO’s Behavioral Health Intervention Team as a therapy dog. AAT K9 Mango provides a calm and reassuring to those experiencing a mental health crisis. He was trained by inmates at Brevard County’s jail as part of Brevard Sheriff’s Office’s “Paws & Stripes” program, which teaches inmates valuable life skills. AAT K9 Mango is certified through AKC’s Good Citizen program and is a nationally certified therapy dog.
K9 Maus is a Dutch Shepherd born on Oct. 30, 2018 in Hungary. He began working for PSO in Jan. 2020 and is patrol and narcotics detection certified. K9 Maus is the first Dutch Shepherd to work at PSO. K9 Maus loves working and especially enjoys tracking people. His favorite food is grilled chicken and he loves relaxing in his yard of his days off. The funds for K9 Maus were generously donated by Maus Nissan, and he was named in their honor.
K9 Phi is a Labrador Retriever that was born on Jan. 29, 2016 in Alabama. He is certified in the land and water detection of human remains, and began working for PSO in Feb. 2018. K9 Phi has assisted the FBI, as well as other law enforcement agencies, for numerous homicides, missing people and cold cases. In particular, K9 Phi loves working in wooded areas. In his time off, he loves playing with his tug.
K9 Shelby is a Bloodhound born in Kentucky in February 2021. K9 Shelby is a littermate of K9 Hemi. K9 Shelby is in training and will begin working as a single purpose tracking K9 when he is closer to a year old. The funds for K9 Shelby were generously donated by Ferman of New Port Richey.
K9 Shep is a German Shepherd who was born on Feb. 22, 2014. K9 Shep is from Hungary and began working for PSO in Aug. 2015. He is certified in patrol work and narcotics detection. After each successful track, K9 Shep gets a doggy ice cream, one of his favorite treats, when he gets home. He loves to play with his Kong toy when not working.
K9 Smitty was born in Hungary on Nov. 8, 2017. He is a German Shepherd and began working for PSO in Nov. 2018. K9 Smitty’s specialties on the team include tracking people, searching areas and buildings and finding evidence. He is also assigned to the SWAT team and is certified in explosives detection. When he’s not working, he loves going to the park and going out on the lake.
K9 Star is a German Shepherd that was born in Hungary on Sept. 8, 2018. He began working for PSO in Nov. 2019. K9 Star is certified in patrol work and narcotics detection. His favorite foods include carrots and frozen watermelon. At home, he enjoys getting pets and following his handler around. K9 Star is currently assigned to the Highway Interdiction Team, which helps keep Pasco safe from the trafficking of illegal narcotics.
K9 Strong is a German Shepherd who was born Jan. 14, 2015 in Hungary. She began working for Pasco Sheriff’s Office in December 2016 and is one of only a few female K9s in the unit. K9 Strong is a single purpose narcotics detection K9 and is currently assigned to the PSO’s 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 backyard, going to the dog park and relaxing with the family.
K9 Titan is a German Shepherd who was born Aug. 8, 2014 in Germany. He began working for PSO in Dec. 2015 and is a dual-purpose K9 who can track and apprehend suspects as well as detect explosive material. When at home, K9 Titan enjoys relaxing with his partner and family. He loves chasing balls in the yard and loves spending time with his partner’s daughter. The funds for K9 Titan were generously donated by Wesley Chapel Nissan, and he is named for the Nissan Titan truck.
K9 Trinity is a German Shepherd, born in Hungry on June 24, 2015. She began working for PSO in Dec. 2017. K9 Trinity is a single-purpose illegal narcotics detection K9 and holds two narcotic detection certificates, one from National Narcotic Detector Dog Association and the other from the Tampa Bay Regional K9 Instructor Group. When not working, K9 Trinity enjoys going on jogs with her partner and getting tummy rubs. K9 Trinity’s skills have resulted in the seizure of numerous illegal narcotics and she thoroughly enjoys her work.
K9 Yager was born in Slovakia on Oct. 15, 2015 and has been working with PSO since June 2017. He is a German Shepherd. K9 Yager is certified in patrol work and narcotics detection. He is highly intelligent and always eager to work. He is extremely driven and will retrieve any toy endlessly. The funds for K9 Yager were generously donated by CCS Medical Group.
K9 Yogi is a German Shepherd, who was born on Nov. 5, 2013 in Germany. He began working for PSO in Jan. 2015 and is certified in patrol work and narcotics detection. K9 Yogi loves going to work and often times, he’s near the front door barking and jumping in circles as his handler puts on the uniform. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and napping.
Thank you for the service of these K9’s who have retired
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!