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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit is assigned to the Patrol Division and to routine and general patrol functions, including answering general calls for service. The K-9 Unit has the capability and responsibility to deploy to any scene in which a K-9 Team is needed throughout Thurston County. The primary duty of our K-9 Teams is to track criminals who flee and hide from law enforcement officers within Thurston County. All the teams are single disciplined dogs trained in tracking human odor, finding discarded evidence or property, searching buildings and confined areas, as well as handler/deputy protection work.

Our canines are assigned to one specific handler and are with that handler 24/7. When the handler goes home, his canine partner goes with him. The canines become a part of the handler’s family, and a strong bond with that handler is developed. Our K-9 Teams are always on call and have the obligation to be called out at a moment's notice. Because of that, they need to have a supportive family. The K-9 Unit is comprised of two K-9 Teams:




​Deputy Bagby has been a law enforcement officer since 2011 and has been partnered with K-9 Jaxx since July of 2016. K-9 Jaxx is an American Bred German Shephard, born in December of 2014, and donated to our program from Excelon Kennels, in Shelton, Washington. He lives at home with Deputy Bagby, his wife, and their two kids.






Deputy Nault has been a law enforcement officer since 2011 and has been partnered with K-9 Dexter since the beginning of 2018. K-9 Dexter is a German Shephard, born in March of 2014, and is from the Czech Republic. He lives at home with Deputy Nault, his wife, and their three kids.

A German Shepherd is not only an extremely intelligent canine, but they have a unique ability to smell things that humans cannot even begin to comprehend. Every person loses thousands of skin particles every second and the odor those particles emit are just as unique to an individual person as a fingerprint or DNA. Our German Shepherds detect that unique odor of a human being and will track that person based on that unique smell when that person flees.

The past philosophy of Canine Units was to have the biggest, “baddest”, and meanest canines’ agencies could find. Our philosophy has changed and evolved quite drastically. Now we get smaller, more social canines, and disciplined training, which has been the key to our program’s huge success. Our canines are trained to a high level of discipline and proficiency which replaces the old philosophy.

In order for a K-9 Team to be certified through the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and the Washington State Police Canine Association (WSPCA) the K-9 Team must complete a minimum of 400 hours of basic training which encompasses obedience, protection, locating evidence, tracking, building searches, and area searches. Once the handler and canine complete the basic certification training and pass the certification test, they can perform the duties of patrol canine teams in the state of Washington. Canines start their career at age 2 years old or older and end their career when they are no longer physically fit to perform the duties and tasks of being a working canine, usually between 7 and 9 years old. Our K-9 Teams participate and train an average of 20 hours per month to advance their skills and proficiency. They also participate in several public education and demonstration events throughout the year. We all look forward to seeing you out there and introducing you to our teams. Our K-9 Unit prides itself on being a no or low-cost program to Thurston County and the taxpayers. With shrinking budgets, cost reduction, and employee layoffs (including deputies), the canine program runs largely on the donations our handlers have solicited and raised, to cover all the costs associated. The donations cover the training, equipment, upkeep and food for our canines.

If it were not for the donations of our public and local businesses, there would not be a canine program. The Thurston County K-9 Unit has a 501c3 corporation setup, so all donations are tax deductible. We appreciate all donations, no matter how big or small. If you are interested in donating: please call the K-9 Unit at (360) 786-5500, or go to our Facebook Page, Thurston County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit.