Many dogs spend their time at the side of their owners, helping them exercise or relax, going on adventures, always cheering them up. Some work to save lives and keep us safe.
The Chickasaw Nation cares for and uses its own pack of pups, which serve the community on special teams.
Some canines work with the Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department and others with the Chickasaw Nation Emergency Management search and rescue team.
The LPD works to protect lives and property, reduce the occurrence and fear of crime, preserve the peace and provide a safe environment. They serve communities across Oklahoma. Lighthorse canine companions fit right in.
The LPD’s K-9 team is a subdivision of the patrol division. It consists of highly trained officers and canines who conduct community policing events and provide critical assistance to both the patrol and criminal investigations divisions.
LPD K-9s are valuable assets in combating drugs and even tracking criminals during fresh pursuit episodes, among other duties.
The Chickasaw Nation Emergency Management search and rescue team canines locate people and save lives. They are often called into action after natural disasters or when a loved one goes missing.
The search and rescue animals service 13 counties for the Chickasaw Nation, but they have also been tapped for jobs in other states in response to hurricanes and tornadoes.
Training for these canines includes conditioning, obedience training and light obstacle work, with additional regimens for their specific disciplines and specialties.
Beny - Lighthorse
Beny is a 7-year-old German shepherd with gray, black and brown fur. He has six years of service with the Chickasaw Nation Newcastle Precinct, specializing in narcotics, handler protection and tracking. He is K-9 certified with the state of Oklahoma as well as nationally with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association.
Beny loves the water and beef jerky. He is well mannered and likes to ride in the patrol car’s passenger seat instead of his kennel.
Kilo - Lighthorse
Kilo is a 3-year-old German shepherd with black fur. He has two years of service with the Chickasaw Nation WinStar Precinct and specializes in narcotics, handler protection and tracking. He is K-9 certified with the state of Oklahoma as well as nationally with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association.
Kilo loves to lounge in his kennel and play in the sprinklers. He likes beef jerky and prefers to be the boss.
Dana - Lighthorse
Dana is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois with 10 months of service with the Chickasaw Nation Ada Precinct. Like Beny and Kilo, she specializes in narcotics, handler protection and tracking. She is K-9 certified with the state of Oklahoma as well as nationally with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association. Unlike Beny and Kilo, Dana was born in the United States, while the others were imported.
Dana loves the water and tries to bite it. She is very active and loves leaping through the air. She could not go without her beef jerky treats.
Roxxi - Search and rescue
Roxxi is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois/Dutch shepherd with almost two years of service with the Chickasaw Nation. She possesses a national certification for open area human remains detection with the National Association for Search and Rescue.
Roxxi is affectionate but all business when it is time to work. When not on the job, she loves to play with her ball.
She came from Barry and Becky Switzer’s Ground Zero Emergency Training Center in Tuttle. The Switzers officially presented her to Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby and Chickasaw Nation Emergency Management Canine Handler Adam Kuhlman during a special ceremony in 2018.
Zee - Search and rescue
Zee is a 2-year-old Labrador who has been with the Chickasaw Nation for almost a year.
She possesses a national certification for open area live scent detection with the National Association for Search and Rescue.
Zee is a happy girl who appears to smile as she works. In her downtime, she loves to swim and chase her basketball in the water.
These dogs are cared for by their handlers both on and off duty. But some pups aren’t as lucky and are in need of finding their forever homes.
Adopt a dog
For the Ada area, future pet owners can turn to the Pontotoc Animal Welfare Society.
The nonprofit pet shelter has teamed up with the city of Ada to ensure that dogs and cats find new families. The shelter has a capacity of around 60 dogs and 30 cats.
Dog adoption costs $90 and includes spay/neuter services, vaccinations and heartworm tests. Cat adoption costs $35. The shelter often runs specials with price reductions. PAWS also has a foster program for families wanting to help but not permanently adopt. There is also a lost-and-found program for families to check if pets go missing.
PAWS is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (580) 332-5233 or visit AdoptPaws.org.