Spitting image

Bluefield Police K-9 Thor sits with all three plush images of the BPD K-9 unit. A restock of the dolls, including the newest K-9 unit Maverick, will be coming soon.

BLUEFIELD — After an overwhelmingly warm response from the community, the Bluefield Police Department is officially sold out of all K-9 plushies.

After purchases began last Friday, officers and dispatchers saw a flood of residents ready to take home a dog of their own. From the friendly Thor, energetic Ace and driven Gregor, those seeking to bring one of the models home can look forward to the upcoming restock.

The department will be restocking the fuzzy clones, with 125 of each dog, with a new addition. The newest addition, named Maverick, will also have a replica of himself with the restock.

“I was talking to someone and their child walked up and tapped me on the leg with a Thor doll,” K-9 unit Thor’s handler, Sgt. B.W. Copenhaver said.

Seeing this both shocked and thrilled Copenhaver, he explained. Not only does he love to see children positively interact with his canine counterpart, Thor, he also enjoys that they are able to be personable with officers.

The department quickly sold out of all three dog’s plush replicas in less than a week. Proceeds collected from the sales will aid in funding K-9 unit necessities.

Considering how quickly the first stock sold out the department is encouraging those interested to preorder. To do so, a money order or check can be given to the Bluefield City Police Department, according to department administrative assistant Kevin Fleming. As all replicas are custom made the new shipment is expected roughly within a month’s time.

The department is also offering to ship the small dogs to customers “anywhere in the lower 48 states,” Fleming said. With the shipping fee included this will only cost $24.

According to Copenhaver the cost of maintaining both the dog’s needs and their equipment can run up to $20,000. With the department already housing three diligent canines, and another on the way, the costs can skyrocket.

Copenhaver has taken Thor to many schools throughout Bluefield, Mercer County and beyond. The duo has traveled to McDowell and Monroe Counties to let children develop positive memories with law enforcement.

On the topic of teaching the younger generation to not be afraid of law enforcement Copenhaver believes that the best way to do so is by going to the schools.

“That’s my ticket in,” Copenhaver said as he pointed to Thor, quietly playing with his toy on the floor, regarding how he has the opportunity to meet the students.

As for Maverick, officers are eager to meet the newest officer. He’s currently being trained at Vohne Liche Kennels in Indiana with his handler Ptlm. T.M. Beggs.

According to Copenhaver, Vohne Liche Kennels focus on not only creating successful and powerful police K-9’s but also ensuring that they are sociable toward the public. This is a vital aspect when it comes to guaranteeing that the K-9’s are lovable as well as tenacious.

Maverick is expected to join the department in February, Copenhaver said.

For more information on how you can claim your own Thor, Ace, Gregor or Maverick call the Bluefield City Police Department at 304-327-6101.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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