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This is Home: Wood County’s Drago wins “K-9 of the Year”

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 4:25 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -

Wood County’s K-9 Drago is the recipient of the “K-9 of the Year” award from the group “Protecting K-9 Heroes.”

Drago is a popular presence around the community, and was well-traveled and skilled at his job before arriving to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office in 2018.

“He came over from Germany, but he spent a year in Russia as well,” said Deputy Taylor Phillips, his handler. “He’s pretty well-traveled. He’s trained in narcotics detection, apprehension, as well as tracking, and article searches.”

Phillips has been Drago’s handler since he came to the department, but she was nervous and excited at the same time to train with a police dog.

“Most people don’t know how to read dogs in general, so it took some time,” Phillips said. “There were some frustrating and challenging times learning that because you want to do a good job, you want to be able to help your dog out, and know what they’re trying to tell you. He’s a great dog, he’s easy to bond with. I mean, as soon as I brought him home, everything seemed to change, it’s like we were learning each other.”

Drago won the award by having one of the best social media presences in the country. His prizes included a $200 check for the K-9 fund, as well as other treats and toys.

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens is proud of the work Drago has done, and is fond of the way he is embraced by the community.

“It’s kind of nice to get that feedback,” Stephens said. “.From the public that supports what they’re buying into what we’re selling as far as trying to get the dogs, and the support to maintain those dogs. So, it’s really a good thing.”

Drago is currently four years old, and K-9′s usually work until around 9 or 10 years old.

Phillips, however, sees no signs that Drago has any intention of slowing down anytime soon.

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