A lot of people believe rescue dogs or pets are the best animals to work with. In this case, it's true!

Benton County Sheriff's officials say their newest K-9, Sawyer, just passed his tough grueling state exams with a perfect score of 100%!

Both Sawyer, who's a Lab-Shar Pei mix and a rescue dog, and his handler, never had any prior K-9 narcotics training. Deputy Joe Mehline had never worked with a K-9 before, either.

The two of them survived what's called "Hell Night' at the state training academy in Shelton, where the dog and handler are put through a long series of situations, simulated threats and environments where they're expected to sniff out a wide variety of illegal narcotics. Officials say many animals (and handlers) don't make it. It's mentally and physically taxing.

But they did. Sawyer will help free up the K-9 units in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland by providing the ability to respond to drug situations all over Benton County.


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