At first glance, Scout might look like he’s a typical, playful pup, but this 18-month-old, black Lab is developing a nose for crime
Meet the newest member of the Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 team. Scout along with his handler, Trooper Shae Ross will be following in the footsteps of the first anti-poaching team in Oregon made up of K-9 Buck and Senior Trooper Josh Wolcott.
The OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) Stop Poaching Campaign, and the Oregon Wildlife Foundation (OWF) held a joint press conference to announce the expansion of the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 team Jan. 25 at ODFW headquarters in Salem.
“Adding another wildlife detection K-9 team provides another asset to our division to address poaching issues and increase awareness across the state,” said OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Captain Casey Thomas. “Senior Trooper Wolcott and K-9 Buck have done a great job of getting this program started. Adding a second team will increase the program’s efficiency and reduce the excessive travel strain of the current team. I want to thank everyone involved in establishing, maintaining, and supporting OSP’s Conservation K9 program,” continued Thomas. “This program wouldn’t be possible without them and these strong partnerships.”
Speakers at the event included: Senior Trooper Wolcott, Trooper Ross, Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Yvonne Shaw and Oregon Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Tim Greseth. A demonstration by Buck and Senior Trooper Wolcott followed the presentations.
“Oregon’s fish, wildlife and other natural resources belong to all of us,” stated Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Yvonne Shaw. “The partnership between Oregon Wildlife Foundation and the OSP F&W Conservation K9 program helps to protect these natural resources for current and future generations. OWF’s generous donors recognize the value of these dogs, which offer a unique connection between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” continued Shaw.
OWF, in collaboration with OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, launched Oregon’s first Wildlife K-9 team in 2019. K-9 Buck and Senior Trooper Wolcott have conducted numerous poaching investigations and logged hundreds of hours in the field since the inception of the program. The current team is located at OSP’s Springfield Area Command but has worked across the state over the last 2.5 years.
The effectiveness of the K-9 program led OSP leadership to the recent approval of the additional team (Scout and Trooper Ross) at the OSP Area Command in Bend. As with the inaugural team, OWF donors have generously agreed to help cover the costs of this program expansion. Ongoing canine expenses, primarily veterinary care, are financed by public donations to OWF.
“Oregon Wildlife Foundation is pleased to be able to support the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 program and our partnership with Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division,” said OWF Executive Director Tim Greseth. “We greatly appreciate generous donors stepping up, once again, to expand this successful program and help us introduce a new K-9 team to the public.”
Oregon Wildlife Foundation accepts public donations to the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 Fund to offset expenses associated with the canine members of the teams. Donations to the fund help defray the costs of veterinary care, training equipment and related supplies. To support and learn more about the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 program visit www.myowf.org/k9team.