What used to be a frail, underweight German Shepherd is now a healthy K-9, thanks to the efforts of the staff at the Junction City/Geary County Animal Shelter and the Geary County Sheriff’s Department.

Nova was abandoned at the shelter on October 2018. She was in a terrible condition when she was brought in. She weighed about 30 to 40 pounds less than an average female German Shepherd, and she had a deep wound around her muzzle.

Staff shelter said Nova probably got the wound from being bound.

Incidentally, the Geary County Sheriff’s Department decided to get another dog that would be trained for drug detection. They thought of getting a dog from the local shelter.

Lt. Justin Stopper, who eventually became Nova’s handler, Sgt. Chris Ricard, who was also a K-9 handler, and Detective Bradley Rose visited the shelter just a few days after Nova was brought in. The dog wasn’t on the adoption floor because she was still too thin, but the team set their sights on her.

When Nova had received the necessary veterinary care, Stopper visited her regularly. He would take her out with him and drive her around so she would become familiar with him, then he would take her back to the shelter.

Spending time with Nova allowed him to observe the dog more closely. He noticed that the German Shepherd was not at all a timid dog.

Nova was tested for her hunt drive and indication (the response she was trained to give when she detected what was being hunted). She was also tested for tracking, an important skill in searching for lost children.

Nova passed the tests and was awarded a certification. It took only less than six months for the thin, wounded German Shepherd to be certified for tracking and narcotics detection. The day had come for her to say goodbye to her friends at the shelter.

For their part, the shelter staff were overjoyed with what Nova had become. The thin, wounded rescue dog that entered their door a few months ago was now a part of the sheriff’s department, and they couldn’t be more proud.

Credits to: Junction City/Geary County Animal Shelter

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