Gage County may put its drug dog back to work

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) _ The Gage County Sheriff’s Office may resurrect its K-9 program and put its drug dog back to work.     

The officer who’d handled the 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, Buster, announced last month that he was leaving the department. The county Board of Supervisors voted to let Buster’s handler, Coltin Bebensee, buy the dog for $250. The value was based largely on predictions that Buster wouldn’t be able to perform adequately under a different handler.     

The board later rescinded that decision, saying that Buster likely had a higher value.     

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson told the board Monday that Buster had been evaluated by trainers in Omaha last week and appeared to able to work with a different handler.     

Gustafson says he’s talking to one of his deputies about taking over Buster’s care and handling.

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