Abused dog finds award-winning new life working in Kansas law enforcement


JUNCTION CITY, Kansas (Nexstar) — An abused 4-year-old German shepherd rescued from an animal shelter is now being recognized as the 2021 Detector Dog Case of the Year, after she sniffed out 95 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop.

The German shepherd was brought to the Junction City-Geary County Animal shelter in October of 2018. The shelter’s staff named her Nova. They said she had a deep wound around her muzzler, which made them think she had been bound with a rope or wire.

The Geary County Sheriff’s Office discussed getting a second drug-detecting dog from a shelter. That’s when deputies found Nova. In March 0f 2019, Nova became certified in narcotics detection and tracking through the heart of the America Police Dog Association with her handler, Lt. Justin Stopper.

“We thought we could provide a tool for the county that somebody discarded and it was at no cost to the taxpayers,“ Stopper said in 2019. Even her adoption fee to cover veterinary care was paid by an anonymous donation.

Late last month, Nova attended the annual Heart of America Police Dog Association certification event held in Ankeny, Iowa.

The award was presented to her for her role in the October 2020 traffic stop that was conducted by members of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Team where she sniffed out 95 pounds of methamphetamine.

Deputies say she still welcomes the opportunity to socialize with anybody she meets and loves to work.

Nova is a rescue and works for the Geary County Sheriff’s Office (Photo courtesy Geary County Sheriff’s Office)

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