CIRCLEVILLE — After seven years of service, the K-9 Turpin has been retired from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office following some medical issues.
Turpin, 9, and his handler Jeremy Wallace were presented with a certificate and award for assisting Fairfield County near Tarlton where they found a suspect for the Sheriff’s Department there.
“Their deputy got hurt and they called us down and we helped them to locate that person in a house there,” Wallace said.
Wallace said Turpin, a Belgian Malinois breed, is energetic and playful, but also knows when to get down to business.
“He’s no nonsense,” he said, as Turpin barked in what almost seemed like agreement. “He’s a little more calm at home, gets along great with my other dogs and just enjoys his toys. When he sees me get dressed, he knows it’s time to go to work.”
Wallace said they’ve worked together on numerous drug seizures and arrests.
“We’ve also had a successful track looking for a suicidal male out at Hargus Lake,” Wallace said. “That was pretty recent when we got out of training, within the first couple of months. We located him and got him to the hospital.”
While Wallace was on vacation in Florida, which he left early from to return to Turpin, Turpin got a bad infection and was hospitalized at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. All this happened in May.
That was a factor as was Turpin’s age in making the decision to retire the canine. Turpin has since made a full recovery.
“He had a bad infection and we think an ulcer as well,” Wallace said.
Now that Turpin is retired from active duty, the Pickaway County Commissioners agreed to give him to Wallace where he’ll live out the remainder of his days.
Turpin had previously worked with another deputy before being turned over to Wallace.
“We talked to the trainers and they said he had plenty of life left in him and Jeremy took him and just worked so well with him,” Sheriff Robert Radcliff said.
The department still has three K-9 deputies on the team: Edguy, Joris and Mike.
“We have two drug apprehension dogs, Edguy and Joris and Mike is an explosives dog,” Radcliff said.
Radcliff said each dog costs about $14,000 to purchase and train and, with the exception of Mike which was funded a different way, were purchased with seized drug money.
“It wasn’t taxpayer money that pays for our drug dogs,” he said. “Right now, we’ve got to see what funds are available to replace him.”