CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The Clay County Constable’s Office has added a new K9 member named Khaleesi to their team.

K9 officers are very important when tracking criminals. They not only help officers do their jobs safer but also safer.

Khaleesi, who is only two years old, is trained to locate drugs, such as narcotics, and protect his partner, Clay County Constable Sidney Horton when working a case.

It’s been less than a year since the Clay County Constable’s Office got a new K9 officer. With the help of the United States Police Canine Association and a grant approved by the American Kennel Club Reunite program, Officer Horton was able to find a giant schnauzer named Khaleesi .

“Dogs in Texas in our region, we are pushing it,” Horton said. “I’m trying to let everyone know that it is an easy process, easy grant process. It’s very beneficial to these smaller agencies like myself, like the Constable Office or these smaller towns that just don’t have the funds.”

Canines like Khaleesi play a very important role when out in the field with law enforcement because they are able to detect things a lot faster due to their sensitive smell.

“Dogs, their sense of smell is set up 100 times better than humans, and obviously in a criminal setting, looking for criminals that have ran off and apprehension to narcotics trying to catch up people routinely,” Horton said.

Officer Horton said it is very common to catch people in the area with drugs.

“We have Highway 287,” Horton said. “It’s a major thoroughfare for narcotics transportation, and a lot of the times they are secretive, they are hidden.”

Two-year-old Khaleesi continues to be trained every week along with her handler to keep their communication strong when working together.

“Making sure she recognizes her odors and I recognize her alerts, so she is what we call ‘passive alert’, so when she detects one of the odors that she is trained to detect, she will typically sit or stop and stare,” Horton said.

Just recently, Khaleesi and other K9s were able to identify drugs, among other things, at a local high school.

“It ended up being about 13 to 15 K9 teams showed up the next day at Boyd High school, and we hit the place,” Horton said. “Some hit the cars, some of us took the hallways, makes it quick and efficient that we discover. Khaleesi alerted on a backpack, and it ended it up having THC cartridges, there were some other narcotics that were found, plus, I think a gun was recovered from inside one of the vehicles there.”

Officer Horton is very grateful for the help he was able to get through the USPCA and the AKC Reunite program and encourages other law enforcement agencies to get a K9.