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Des Moines County Sheriff's Office to Add K-9 Unit
Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone said his department is still considering several dogs to join its K-9 unit.

The Des Moines County Sheriff's Office is moving ahead with plans to add a K-9 unit. Sheriff Mike Johnstone told the county board several dogs are being considered.

Johnstone described the leading contender as a “clone dog.” He said the breeder who owns the dog has cloned a previous dog to ensure quality and ability.

“The owners can tell you pretty much how long they are going to live,” said Johnstone. “They can give a guarantee on the dog because they have had them several years. They know the mentality. They know what potential medical issues they have.”

Johnstone hopes a decision will be made soon as to which dog will work with his department, in particular with input from the deputy who will serve as the department’s K-9 handler.

Johnstone said the dog will be able to identify drugs and track/locate people among other actions.

Johnstone said roughly $30,000 has been raised so far to pay for the dog, the food, and other related equipment. He said fundraising will need to continue as having the dog will be an ongoing expense for his department.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.