K-9 Retirement

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2014

GOOD DOG: Alik, one of the sheriff department's K-9 officers, has retired for health reasons. He will live with his former handler, Cpl. Ashley Lambert and his family.  Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

GOOD DOG: Alik, one of the sheriff department’s K-9 officers, has retired for health reasons. He will live with his former handler, Cpl. Ashley Lambert and his family.
Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

A different sort of Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department employee was granted retirement by the Board of Supervisors at Wednesday’s meeting. The employee’s name is Alik, one of the departments five K-9s.

Alik has been with the department since 2008 and has been a loyal partner and companion to Corp. Ashley Lambert during that time. At nine-years-old, Alik has been retired due to medical reasons and will spend his days in the lap of luxury at Lambert’s home.

Lambert said he and Alik have had some good times together and he has assisted on many cases, including tracking three lost teenage girls.

Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said in order for the department to keep their K-9 division operating, the department will acquire another dog now that Alik has retired.

Lambert said he would take a break from the K-9 unit now that Alik has retired because he grew attached to his furry partner.

“It’s not only me who gets attached. It’s also my two kids and my wife that gets attached,” Lambert said.

Lambert’s wife Christy said it took awhile for her to get used to Alik, but he is now a part of the family. She said she looks forward to having Alik home, but that it will be difficult to not see him go to work.

Corporal Kevin Brian, head of the sheriff department’s K-9 unit, said having dogs like Alik is an important part of the department.

“The importance of it (the K-9 unit) is to make sure we have another aspect of it (department) to go after any type of criminal activity,” Brian said.

He said ultimately the K-9 is about officer protection, which Tucker agreed with.

“I know my wife likes it when she sees my partner jump in the truck with me,” Brian said. “She knows I have somebody who has my back.”

Tucker said having K-9 units on the scene prevents injuries because suspects are more likely to back down.

Brian said it’s hard to see Alik retire.

“That dog’s heart is filled with nothing but work, but his body is just giving out on him. That’s hard for a handler and for the dog,” Brian said.