New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office introduces newest K9 deputy

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has enlisted a new member of their K9 unit.

Mara, the 3-year-old Plott Hound mix, will serve as a victim-support dog. She will make victims feel safe and comfortable as they speak to law enforcement.

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Mara is the newest addition to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

Spokesman for the sheriff’s office Lieutenant Jerry Brewer says law enforcement officers are seeing a lot of success in adding dogs like Mara to their units.

“We’ve seen that with other dogs, such as Potter at the DA’s office, and across the country that the trend of using dogs to help the victim calm down a little bit,” Brewer said. “It’s something us as humans just can’t do because with a dog it’s just unconditional love, that’s the best part of it.”

Originally, Mara was rescued by Paw’s Place in Brunswick County. Then she was sent to Canines for Service, a non-profit that trains and matches service dogs with veterans with disabilities.

The non-profit tests their animals to make sure they are ready to be matched and Mara made it past beginner into the intermediate stage. They say she had a little too much energy to be placed with a person with a disability.

“We knew that she had so much more to give and that she was super, super smart,” Canines for Service Director of Development and Community Relations Jennifer Wilson-Mathis said. “We were looking with different ways to partner with the community, we had placed a dog with the Carousel Center prior, so we reached out to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.”

Canines for Service says they look forward to their relationship with the sheriff’s office to grow as the K9 unit expands.