Gastonia Police Department Adds New Dog, Handler To K-9 Unit

GASTONIA, N.C. — The Gastonia Police Department added a new K-9 and selected a handler to fill an opening in their K-9 Unit.

K-9 Max is a year one-and-a-half year old German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix from Ventosa Kennel in Scotland Neck, North Carolina.  His handler will be Officer Ryan Huneycutt.

“We certify our dogs through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), which is based out of St. Louis, Missouri,” said Sgt. Thomas Doby who serves as GPD’s K-9 Unit coordinator. “Max has gone through a 12 to 14 week school while being trained by our Training Officer Jason Eaker. He is trained in narcotics, criminal apprehension, tracking, building searches, article searches, and obedience.”

Max will be one of six dogs in GPD’s K-9 Unit. Four are German Shepherds, one is a Malinois and Max is a mix of the two breeds.  Both breeds are widely used in law enforcement across the country due to their versatility, according to the Gastonia Police Department.

There are six dogs in GPD’s K-9 Unit: four German Shepherds, one Malinois, and now with the addition of Max, one mix of Malinois and German Shepherd. Both breeds are widely used in law enforcement across the country due to their versatility.

“I expect a lot of great things out of them,” Sgt. Doby said. “Ryan has a lot of drive and Max is turning out to be a very solid dog that’s going to have a good temperament and be able to do his job as well. He has a lot of drive, a lot of work ethic, and I think they’re going to do very well.”