Dana Simas, Public Information Officer

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has a some new four-legged staff members. They go by the names “Pink,” “Goose,” and “Yoska”

Pink and Goose, 1-year old and 18-month old Belgian Malinois respectively, were donated to the department by K-9 Behavior Services owners Jeremy Talamantes and Stephanie O’Brien based in Fillmore, Calif.

Yoska, a 1-year old Belgian Malinois, was adopted about a month ago from the Sonoma County Humane Society. All will begin training with their new handlers in July.

K9 Goose and Ofcr Serrano

Correctional Officer Leonard Serrano with Goose

K-9 Behavior Service has donated nine service dogs to CDCR since 2010. The typical price for one of these dogs can run as much as $7,000.

The dogs will go through a 160-hour four-week training with their handlers and will eventually perform narcotic and contraband searches in institutions. They also may help other law enforcement agencies during probation and parole sweeps.

CDCR uses trained dogs to detect contraband such as cell phones, tobacco, methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

CDCR is the only public law enforcement agency that has received donated dogs from K-9 Behavior Services.

CDCR has 29 dogs in the K-9 program based at various institutions. The teams are strategically placed at institutions statewide so they may travel, search, and return to the institution within an eight-hour period.

The goal for Statewide K-9 Coordinator Sgt. Wayne Conrad is to have at least three dogs at every institution. He hopes to have a variety of both aggressive alert dogs that bark when they find contraband as well as passive alert dogs that are trained to sit when alerting their owner.

CDCR has three regional coordinators who make sure all of the K9s are working every day by either conducting searches at the institutions or working on parole/probation sweeps to make sure their senses stay sharp.

Sgt. Jeremy Packard is the coordinator for the Northern region, Sgt. Eladio Alfaro is the coordinator for the Central region, and Sgt. Billy Nelson is the coordinator for the Southern region.

Last year, CDCR K-9s detected approximately 3,890 illegal cell phones. Also seized inside the institutions with the help of the K-9s was approximately 37 pounds of marijuana, 3 ounces of cocaine, 44 ounces of methamphetamine, 877 pounds of tobacco, and 126 ounces of heroin.

You can find about more about K-9 Behavior Services at this web site – https://www.k9behavior.com/index.html (You may not be able to view the site on a CDCR computer.)