GALLIPOLIS — A new partnership was recently formed among the Gallia County first responder community between a longtime sheriff’s deputy and local fire chief and a recently acquired bloodhound, who will now serve the people of Gallia County.
Gallia County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Wright, who also serves as the fire chief of the District II Volunteer Fire Department in Mercerville, was recently partnered with Rosie the bloodhound, a dog who was donated to the Gallia County first responder community by Nancy Rhynard and Westwood Kennels of Hilliard, Ohio.
The new K-9 team is a mutual effort between the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, the Gallia County Fire Fighters Association and the District II Volunteer Fire Department.
A second bloodhound was also donated to Gallia County and will be in use to assist first responders in search operations throughout the area.
The new bloodhounds will begin training and function in partnership with the bloodhound search team already in Gallia County that is currently worked by Officer Chris Withee of the Gallipolis Police Department. Withee also serves as a sheriff’s office auxiliary deputy.
Following the donation of the new search K-9s, Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning stated that additional bloodhounds will be a great asset to the county, helping to cut response times for missing person searches.
“Prior to having search dogs locally, fire departments and law enforcement agencies would have to wait for out-of-county teams to respond to help find a missing person,” Browning stated. “In these cases, time is a crucial element. The wait time can be excruciating for the families of missing person. Having a local team available will be a great benefit to our community.”
For more information on the new search K-9 teams, contact the sheriff’s office at (740) 446-4617