While an old dog gets to enjoy his retirement, a new pup is now walking the beat at the Kamloops RCMP detachment.
A German shepherd named Mako is reporting for duty in the Tournament Capital, having graduated from the RCMP’s Police Dog Service Training Centre in Innisfall, Alta., on Aug. 13, specializing in finding explosives.
Meanwhile, Fargo, who worked with the RCMP’s emergency response team, has called it a career.
“Mako is a general duty dog trained to track people, find evidence at crime scenes, hidden firearms and assist in making arrests,” said Mako’s handler, Const. Dan Cloutier.
Mako’s specialty is searching for explosives.
The newest member of the Kamloops RCMP canine unit was born on Oct. 10, 2019, in Innisfail, then raised in Prince George.
He comes from a long line of police service dogs as both his father and grandfather served on the force.
Fargo’s final shift with the Kamloops RCMP was on Sept. 7..
At the ripe old age of eight, Fargo was treated to a steak dinner on his last day as a Mountie.
“He’s been a true buddy and companion,” said Cpl Steven Prior, Fargo’s handler and long-time partner.
“The amount of time we spent together in a suburban during horrible storms and late nights is unbelievable to most. But even though many drives were long and tough, it was nice when the sun came up and it was just me and him cruising the highway.”
Fargo has been with the RCMP since he was born in the training centre in Innisfail.
Prior and Fargo spent the past five years working together in Kamloops. Before coming to B.C. the team served together in Newfoundland.
While Fargo’s main duties consisted of responding to calls in Kamloops, he was also a member of the RCMP’s emergency response team for southeast British Columbia.
Throughout his career, Fargo caught a number of suspects in a variety of cases.
He has helped find missing people, locate crucial evidence and put criminals behind bars.
“He is definitely a dog that had your back,” Prior said. “Whenever I would be at an ERT call, he would always face the direction behind me to keep me safe. I tried to change this, but no way would he change.”
On Sept. 17, Fargo will be adopted by new owners.
Those wishing to help support Fargo in his new journey are invited to donate to Ned’s Wish, a charity dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of life for retired police dogs by providing financial support for their medical well-being.
For more information, go online to nedswish.com.