Police Dog’s Taken Lumps, Ready To Heal Department Seeks $4,000 To Replace 6-Year Veteran
Ceiling tiles crumbled and finally caved, taking with them a Kootenai County sheriff’s dog and a burglar he was tangled up with.
Both crashed to the floor 12 feet below. The incident happened more than three years ago, but nagging injuries Enno suffered that Sunday are forcing the 75-pound German shepherd to retire.
The six-year veteran, one of two sheriff’s K-9s, is trained to track and catch suspects and detect drugs. But he has taken a beating recently, said Darell Stidham, his handler and partner. Enno will begin living as a pet with Stidham as soon as the department can raise $4,000 in donations to buy a new dog.
“The last couple of months he’s had some hair-raising calls,” Stidham said. “In apprehending the bad guys, they’ve kind of whupped up on him a little bit.”
During the past 26 months, Stidham credits Enno with using his nose and jaws to catch 48 suspects who likely would have escaped. Enno has found drugs in cars or buildings 120 times, searched more than 100 buildings for burglars and tracked 42 people.
Falling through the ceiling at the Pub 41 tavern in Post Falls while tussling with a knife-wielding burglar was among the dog’s roughest captures. A fight in a stairwell last November with a car thief aggravated the hip injury he suffered in the tavern fall.
Jumping fences and climbing stairs while tracking suspects and searching buildings has helped take the youthful bounce out of the dog’s step.
Sheriff’s officials are hoping to retire Enno before injuries force him to live the rest of his life in pain.
“I don’t want him crippled before he’s able to enjoy life a little bit,” Stidham said.
Enno and Stidham became partners six years ago. The dog, now 9, was the last of three Stidham auditioned.
“We hit it off from day one and have been pretty much inseparable since,” Stidham said.
In addition to their work in Kootenai County, the two have searched for drugs in Tijuana and along the Canadian border as part of a training program with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Locally, Stidham has followed Enno into hundreds of buildings and on the trail of nearly as many suspects. He recalls at least one time Enno saved a deputy from serious or possibly fatal injuries.
In that incident, Enno dragged the suicidal driver from the cab of a four-wheel drive pickup trying to run over sheriff’s Deputy Barry Alleman’s car near Bayview.
Enno’s skills also have undoubtedly prevented other injuries to officers, Stidham said.
“Enno’s been such a good dog for us and been so successful,” Stidham said. “We don’t want to have to put him down because of the work he’s done.”
Stidham expects retirement to be hard on both partners. Enno loves police work, he said.
“When I put the uniform on the last thing he wants to see me do is leave without him,” Stidham said.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:
Donations can be sent to the Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, c/o K-9 Fund, P.O. Box 4532, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.
This sidebar appeared with the story: K-9 FUND Donations can be sent to the Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, c/o K-9 Fund, P.O. Box 4532, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.