“Robbie” is a 22-month-old Belgian Malinois from the Netherlands who has proven his value to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ K-9 Unit after only three months on the job. In early December, “Robbie,” who had recently completed six months of training, accompanied his human partner, K-9 Unit Commander Stephen Hauser, to the Providence office of the U.S. Postal Service to conduct a search at the request of a partner agency in law enforcement. “Robbie” indicated on two boxes which were later determined to contain approximately 12 pounds of marijuana each.
“Robbie” is K-9 Commander Hauser’s first K-9 since his former K-9 partner, “Ferro,” was laid to rest in December of 2007 after participating in countless patrols and narcotic details for the RIDOC and other law enforcement agencies around the state.
RIDOC K-9 Officer John Santagata’s K-9, “Benny,” indicated on 11 pounds of marijuana in a November search which resulted in an arrest.
In addition to assisting law enforcement in a variety of ways, RIDOC K-9s live in the homes of their handlers, and the special bond developed on the job grows deeper. RIDOC K-9 Officers participate in demonstrations and events like the Special Olympics Sports Carnival and speak at schools and organizations throughout the state to raise awareness of the important work of their unit.