Sioux Falls, SD
Police dogs can play a vital role in sniffing out crime. For man's, and Sioux Falls', best friend, though, the end of the road eventually comes.
(Don't worry, this story isn't about a dog that died.)
He's just retiring and passing on the protective leash. Max is getting up there- in both human and dog years. So he's retiring from the Sioux Falls Police Department. And a new recruit is coming through the ranks.
Grant Van Voorst and Max have been a team on the Sioux Falls Police Department for a little more than four years.
"He's been my partner, and we've been through a lot," Van Voorst said.
But nine-year-old Max is no longer a puppy.
"His legs are getting weaker, he's starting to slow down, he can't go for the full 11 hours that we work," Van Voorst said. "So, we figured it was time to let him retire before it came to the point where he couldn't walk, and at least he can have a happy retirement."
He describes Max's retirement as "bittersweet."
"It's a special bond that you have, but he's also put in his time," Van Voorst said.
Max will spend his retirement living with Van Voorst. As Max's time on the force winds down, 18-month-old Spike's is just beginning.
"[Spike has] got a lot of energy and a lot of drive, and you can just see he's ready and excited to learn," Sioux Falls Police Officer Nic Stevens said.
Spike's first official day will be at the end of this year. For now, he's training. Stevens is, too.
"He's teaching me, I'm teaching him, it's a lot of learning together," Stevens said. "But it's something you can only dream about, just being with a dog, one of your best friends, all day long."
Sounds like what it's like to work with Max.
"There's something about having a dog that can apprehend somebody, find the drugs, things like that, it's like a dream," Van Voorst said.
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