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New K-9 Units

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BILLINGS, Mont. - The Montana Highway Patrol has its own K-9 units curbing drug trafficking for the first time ever.

Local law enforcement gathered Thursday afternoon at Riverfront Park in Billings to unveil the MHP's new, fluffy troopers.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said the new narcotics dogs will help fight the regions growing drug problems.

"Drug trafficking has risen in recent years, and we have seen that using K-9 units in other jurisdictions has been very successful," Fox said.

The six MHP dogs range from two to three years old, and most are German or Dutch Shepherds. The MHP will patrol all around the Treasure State with the new dogs.

Patrol trooper Shawn Fowler said the dogs were bred in Europe for the sole purpose of finding narcotics, and their reward for finding drugs is playing with a toy.
"Their job is the most fun thing in their life," said Fowler, who's in his 13th year with the MHP.

After arriving in the U.S., the dogs were trained in Big Timber this May. The troopers trained an additional month with the dogs, and have patrolled with their new partners since mid-June.

"Interstate 90 is a major drug corridor," Fowler added. "And the K-9s will help stem some of the flow of illegal contraband."

The MHP says the dogs are like high performance athletes, and troopers have to pay close attention to their animals diets, exercise and everything the dog does around the clock.

In addition to the six new K-9 units, a new bomb sniffing dog will sniff out areas where Governor Steve Bullock will speak or appear.

Drug forfeiture money and a grant from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program pays for the dogs.

Here's a full list of the troopers and their dogs:

Sergeant Kelly Mantooth

Tika, a three year-old Belgian Malinois/Shepherd blend

Trooper Shad Andersen                      

Zorro, a two year-old male German Shepherd

Trooper Eric Fetterhoff

Shakie, a 1 and 1/2 year-old male German Shepherd

Trooper Shawn Fowler

Tommie, a two year-old male Dutch Shepherd

Trooper Darvin Mees

Saar, a three year-old female Belgian Malinois

Trooper Glenn Quinnell                       

Sammy, a two year-old female Dutch Shepherd

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