By Abby Whitt | Editor

For the second year, Floyd County’s Laurel and Barry Turner donated K-9 ballistic vests to the local sheriff’s office to protect four-legged officers, meeting Carroll County K-9 officers Buck and Maverick this year. .

Buck, a German Shepherd managed by Deputy Michael Baker, is a six-year-old “general purpose” K-9, meaning he is trained in areas such as narcotics and apprehending suspects, said explained Laurel.

Maverick is a two-year-old Bloodhound managed by Deputy Austin Atkins, and he specializes in tracking, search and rescue.

Although the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office does not have its own K-9, thanks to mutual aid, K-9 officers from other departments and from the Virginia State Police participated in a number of narcotics cases in Floyd County.

Laurel said if the FCSO had the opportunity to bring a K-9, she and Barry would be happy to provide a vest for it. A retired law enforcement officer herself, Laurel knows what trained K-9s can be as assets on a team.

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“K-9s need protection, just like their masters. They are investments – they are part of the team,” she said on January 25. “A lot of these departments don’t have the funding (for K-9 vests).

Archie and Maxx of Montgomery County K-9s received vests and special “dog bags” of treats and toys from the Turners in December 2020, and Buck and Maverick received similar bags of excitement this year. on Jan. 24, Laurel said.

Regular caretakers of a total of 12 dogs, 35 cats, two mini pigs, two turtles, two rabbits and a ferret, Laurel and Barry are passionate about caring for animals and treating them with respect.

The couple adopted a senior Beagle from Floyd County Animal Control in late September 2021, lovingly nicknaming him “Grandpa”, and treated him for a number of ailments, including ulcerated eyes.

Laurel said caring for their wards is a “full-time job”, with most dogs being seniors and requiring a variety of medications at different times of the day.

Since finding his new home, Grandpa has made a few friends in the pack, added a few sweaters to his wardrobe and found his voice – sometimes much to the dismay of the Turners. Laurel said he was one of the loudest dogs she had ever met, even for a Beagle.

The Turners are already rolling out feelers for next year’s donations and look forward to meeting other four-legged officers who serve Floyd County.