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German Shepherd First to Graduate from Penn Vet Working Dog Center Patrol School for Law Enforcement K9s

By Ashley Berke Published: Dec 18, 2015

[December 18, 2015; Philadelphia, PA] – German Shepherd Rookie, at 19 months of age, is the first dog to graduate from the new Penn Vet Working Dog Center Patrol School. Previously, all law enforcement K9s from the Center attended patrol school at other facilities.

“By holding our own patrol school, we’re able to provide continuity of positive-reinforcement training,” said Dr. Cindy Otto, Executive Director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. “Our hope is that, with our expertise and training methods, we can produce the next generation of top-notch law enforcement K9s.”

Rookie graduated from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center as a police K9 in October 2015. She started patrol school on November 2, 2015, with her new partner, Officer Jeffrey Seamans of the Lower Merion Police Department. The team will now receive advanced training in explosives detection.

Officer Jeffrey Seamans of the Lower Merion Police Department, with Rookie

At the Center’s Patrol School, Rookie and Seamans worked together on searches, odor imprinting, agility, obedience, hard-surface tracking, direction and control, criminal apprehension, environmental conditioning, and article searches. The duo completed 400+ hours of training and will continue to do monthly in-service training at the Center. Video of their training can be found here.   

“We elected to send Officer Seamans and Rookie to the Working Dog Center’s Patrol School to build on the success of Rookie’s foundation training at the Center and to best support Officer Seamans,” said Superintendent Michael J. McGrath of the Lower Merion Police Department.

A first-time K9 handler, Seamans benefitted from the Center’s intensive training.

“It was a very positive experience at the Working Dog Center,” said Officer Seamans. “Rookie and I developed a great foundation to build upon as we start our careers in the K9 Unit.”

Rookie, born on May 11, 2014, was donated to the Center by KDs K9s. She is named in honor of Rookie Guerrero, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.

About the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Opened on September 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is the nation’s premier research and educational facility dedicated to harnessing the unique strengths of our canine partners and producing an elite group of scent-detection dogs for public safety and health. Dogs in the program are named in honor of individuals who lost their lives on 9/11 and canine heroes who served following the attacks. For more information, visit www.pennvetwdc.org.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,300 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

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