The inductee into the Professional Category for this year is K-9 officer Xerxes of the Vermont State Police K-9 Corps. Corporal Ed Hunter from Wells, VT is Xerxes’ owner, handler and partner. Xerxes is an eight year old German Shepherd Dog and was nominated by VVMA member veterinarian Dr. Janet Carini.
To start with, their credentials:
- Corporal Hunter and Xerxes graduated from Basic Patrol Dog School on Nov 1, 1996
- They graduated from Basic Narcotics Detection School just 1 year later on Nov 21, 1997
- Finally, Corporal Hunter and Xerxes graduated from Advanced Tracking School on May 21, 1999
Next, their awards; it appears that the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame is not their first, but we hope that it will be cherished along with these others:
- Xerxes was named “Drug Dog of the Year” in 1999
- Corporal Hunter and Xerxes received “Canine and Handler of the Year” awards for 2000 and 2002
- And the team of Xerxes and Corporal Hunter was recently presented a “Meritorious Service Award” by the Vermont State Police
As of June 3, 2003, Xerxes has been credited with 169 “Finds”. “Finds” include escaping suspects, drug caches and lost people. He is also credited with 3 confirmed “Saves” and 2 probable “Saves” meaning he was instrumental in saving 5 lives!
On average, this amazing team handles 100 calls for service per year. What we don’t know is just how many crimes or criminal activities are prevented just knowing that Corporal Hunter and Xerxes are ready and available every day of the year!
Let’s look at the year 2002, their activities included:
27 tracks (15 of those were successful), 3 searches, 23 Detection Searches, 1 positive hit for narcotics, 3 positive hits for marijuana, 1 positive hit for heroin, and 1 criminal apprehension/officer protection. And that’s not all! Their true love is performing demonstrations for non-profit organizations and schools. These pubic service demonstrations allow this Vermont State Police team to interact with students and others in a very positive and pro-active way. In 2002 alone, they presented 6 demonstrations.
Xerxes will be retiring this summer after almost 7 years of outstanding service to the Vermont community. By way of saying thank you for their service, this nomination was made for Corporal Hunter and Xerxes in secret by their veterinarian, friends and colleagues. Once again, we hope they are enjoying their surprise.
In recognition of his achievements, the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association is honored to induct Xerxes into the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame in the Professional Animal Category.