NW Iowa deputy mourns K-9 partner


December 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa Sheriff’s deputy is mourning the loss of his K-9 partner.  Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Dorhout’s partnered with his German shepherd named “Sabot” when the dog was just a puppy, in 2002. Sabot retired from the Sheriff’s Office in April 2010, about the same time Dorhout, a member of the Iowa National Guard, was called to his third overseas deployment, this time in Afghanistan. Dorhout, with C Troop, 113th Cavalry, in Le Mars, was going away for a yearlong deployment. He says the time away from his best friend and partner made the loss of Sabot, who died last month at the age 9, all the harder for him to accept.

Blinking back tears as he spoke with a reporter, Dorhout said “Every time I would come home he was always happy to see me. He always greets me and wants to be by me.” He says he and Sabot had many conversations while riding in their patrol car. The pair met in February 2002 when Sabot was received by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.

Sabot was a dual-purpose canine partner: He was trained and certified by the U.S. Police Canine Association as a drug detector dog in 2003 and a patrol dog in 2004. Along with finding drugs and the bad guys, Dorhout said Sabot also enjoyed meeting children and working with them during community and school programs. Since the pup grew up with Dorhout’s own children, the deputy said he never had to be concerned when the dog met children in the public.

It was decided that Sabot would retire in 2010 because the hard work of being a detector and patrol dog had taken its toll on the animal. For Dorhout, it was odd coming back to the Sheriff’s Office after returning from Afghanistan this past summer without his retired canine partner. Dorhout said he hasn’t discussed getting a new canine partner with the sheriff, but it’s probably something he will do down the road. For now, he’s content to just remember his friend.