CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Governor Jim Justice and his dog, Babydog are honoring Raisy the Bloodhound, the award-winning doggy member of the West Virginia Division of Forestry K-9 Investigative Unit, who retired after 10 years today.

“Dogs have been known for a long time for being man’s best friend for all the comfort and joy they bring, but some dogs rise above that,” Gov. Justice said. “Investigative K-9’s like Raisy take their four-legged duty to the next level. Raisy has been solving crimes and winning awards for years and we are so appreciative of her hard work.”

Governor Jim Justice

Over the course of her long and rewarding 10 year career, this pooch has been a part of 197 wildfire arson investigations in West Virginia, has used her nose in sniffing out 29 missing person cases, and has assisted incredibly with 78 criminal investigations for outside agencies. This proud girl has also helped other federal agencies with seven out of state wildfire investigations, including investigations in California, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia.

Bloodhounds such as Raisy have been used in the West Virginia Division of Forestry K-9 Investigative Unit for over 25 years to track down arsonists and other criminals. Don Kelley and John Bird, another investigator, are the ones responsible for training and certifying dogs and the handlers to get them ready to work with other agencies and organizations such as the West Virginia Division of Forestry K-9 Investigative Unit.

“Raisy is a loyal companion and has dedicated her life to fighting crime and I’m going to miss working with her,” said Kelley, Raisy’s partner, expressing the incredible work she put into the Unit for the last nine years.

Kelley also expressed the numerous awards Raisy has gotten for her years of dedication and hard work.

“Our bloodhounds are naturally gifted sniffers, but they also go through intense training each year with the West Virginia Police to make sure their tracking skills are certified. Because they’re so good at what they do and have some of the best training, the evidence our bloodhounds dig up stands up in courts of law.”

Raisy’s partner, Kelley

The following are the numerous awards that the proud pooch has received which also includes an award from the West Virginia K-9 Investigative Unit:

  • West Virginia Police Canine Association K-9 of the Year (2016-2017)
  • National Police Bloodhound Association Lifesaving Award (2014)
  • Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Meritorious Conduct Award (2014)