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She’s taken down suspects and drug traffickers, Merced CHP says. Her nose led the way

Merced County K-9 retires with 'tremendous stats,' CHP says

Veteran K-9 Officer Laika has retired from the Merced area California Highway Patrol office with “tremendous stats,” and was given a retirement party Tuesday, June 17, 2018, according to officers.
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Veteran K-9 Officer Laika has retired from the Merced area California Highway Patrol office with “tremendous stats,” and was given a retirement party Tuesday, June 17, 2018, according to officers.

More than 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine, $3 million in seizures of drug cash and 55 arrests. Those are just some of the statistics Merced area K-9 Laika boasts as she coasts into retirement.

She, of course, wasn’t the one boasting Tuesday. But, her longtime partner, Officer S. Kensey, said she racked up good numbers in her seven years on the force.

The 9-year-old Belgian malinois has also helped the California Highway Patrol seize 961 pounds of marijuana, 225 pounds of cocaine and 23 pounds of heroin, according to stats provided by CHP. All of those drugs she helped seize add up to a street value of more than $28 million.

“She was getting older and (CHP) had an opportunity to get another dog,” Kensey said on Tuesday. “So they decided to retire her even though she can still do the job.”

Laika, who was born in the Netherlands in 2009, was trained in both drug detection and in taking down uncooperative suspects, he said.

Some canine officers find retirement hard, but Laika is going to do just fine, he said. “She is a very social dog. She has the ability to turn it on and off,” he said.

Kensey bought the dog from the state, so she is a part of his household now where other dogs and his children welcomed her, according to Officer Eric Zuniga.

She officially retired April 28 so she’s begun to let life after K-9-ing set in, according to Kensey.

“She’s put on probably 10 pounds,” he said. “Now she just lounges around the pool all day, eating Popsicles and looking for table scraps.”

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