An abused German Shepherd rescued from the Junction City Animal Shelter has found a home in Kansas law enforcement and was awarded for her drug-detection work as a narcotics K9.
The 4-year-old German Shepherd, named Nova, was awarded the “2021 Detector Dog Case of the Year” after she helped officers located 95 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop.
According to officials with the Geary County Sheriff’s Office, Nova was deployed and indicated a drug odor coming from the vehicle, which led the deputies to uncovering the drugs.
The Geary County Sheriff’s Office had discussed getting a second drug-detecting dog from a shelter when they found Nova who showed significant signs of abuse.
Officials say she was severely abused and malnourished, and showed signs of having her muzzle being bound shut with a rope or wire causing a deep laceration in the area.
In March 2019, Nova became certified in narcotics detection and tracking through the heart of the America Police Dog Association with her handler, Lt. Justin Stopper, who is now a captain.
“We thought we could provide a tool for the county that somebody discarded and it was at no cost to the taxpayers,“ Stopper said in 2019. According to News Nation, Nova’s adoption fee to cover veterinary care was paid by an anonymous donor.
Nova and Stopper attended the annual Heart of America Police Dog certification event on Sept. 26, where she received the award.
While Nova still shows signs of her abuse, police say “she welcomes the opportunity to socialize with anybody she meets and loves to work.”