SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The Rowan County Sheriff's Office newest K-9 is now officially on the job.
Sgt. Justin Nelson is working with Rex, a fourteen-month-old lab. Rex is trained primarily as a dog that can locate drugs, track, trail, and retrieve articles of evidence.
"It's nothing but a game for them. He comes to work for a tennis ball every day," said Sgt. Nelson. "The only thing he wants to do is work hard, do what he needs to do to get his reward, finish the game."
Rex is replacing Sgt. Nelson's dog Ike, who passed away in August of last year due to medical issues.
During his time on the street Ike and Sgt. Nelson were involved in more than 500 calls.
More than 300 times Ike's highly trained nose was used to sniff out illegal drugs.
Ike was on the trail of more than one hundred suspects wanted in various crimes, gave dozens of demonstrations in the community, and has also been responsible for finding missing and endangered children.
Rex came to the department at a cost of approximately $8900, and all of that money came from donations from citizens in the community.
"He's available for missing kids, missing older kids, narcotics that need to be taken off the streets," added Sgt. Nelson.