The Virginia Police Canine Association recently recognized Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office K9 Deputy Matt West and his partner, Annie, with top honors for working the 2021 Bloodhound Case of the Year, according to a post by CCSO.
A hit and run, occurred around 6 p.m. Aug. 16, 2021 in the 11200 block of Eggbornsville Rd. in the first case leading to the award from the Manassas-based K9 professional development nonprofit. Various awards were presented for statewide K9 efforts at the association’s annual meeting May 18 in Warrenton.
In the Culpeper case, the driver fled from the car on foot 20 minutes after striking another occupied vehicle in the Town of Culpeper, and driving off. A witness followed the suspect vehicle and another witness saw the suspect south on Eggbornsville Rd. Deputy Tharp secured the area to which West responded.
The K9 deputy learned the suspect ran through a field. Around 6:09 p.m., West harnessed K9 Annie and scented her off of the gauze pads that had the scent of the driver’s seat on them, CCSO recounted..
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K9 Annie faced away from where the suspect was running. After being scented, K9 Annie made an immediate turn and pulled strong in the field in the direction of the suspect’s last known location. K9 Annie successfully located the suspect.
The subject was charged with DUI, drinking while driving, no insurance, hit and run, no operating license, fail to yield, and no seat belt.
The second case happened around 6:38 p.m. on August 22, 2021 when West was dispatched to Fredericksburg to help locate a missing and bleeding suicidal subject.
Upon arrival, a Lieutenant with Fredericksburg PD directed West to the subject’s apartment to obtain a scent in which he was able to secure a shoe in a plastic bag. West harnessed Annie and scented her off of the shoe in the bag.
Annie circled the area the subject was last standing in. As she intersected a walking path, she pulled strong and into the woods on that walking path. About 50 yards in, both K9 West and Annie came to a “T” intersection, and she pulled hard to the left and never looked to the right. She kept pulling hard on the trail.
That was a good indicator of a possible turn off the trail and into the woods. West looked left and saw a person matching the missing subject description sitting on a rock about 20 yards away, according to CCSO.
The Fredericksburg officer made contact with him, identified him as the missing subject, and placed an officer initiated Emergency Custody Order. The subject was walked out of the woods, and treated by EMS for his injury.