Hillsborough officials are honoring a retiring K-9 officer from the town’s police department.
Viper has been with the Hillsborough Police Department since early 2012, according to a release, and the policing pup will be recognized for his service at the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, November 13.
Viper has served as a “scent-tracking, suspect-locating police dog” during his tenure in Hillsborough helping to assist the State Highway Patrol locating a suspect who ran from a vehicle stop in Orange County, assisting Hillsborough Police by locating firearms that a suspect had buried and locating narcotics “several times in vehicles and buildings.”
Viper has been working with Officer Mike Toellen since the fall of 2015.
“What these dogs are capable of is really amazing,” Toellen said in a release. “What they can do with their nose, the smallest scent they can find, it’s something to see.”
Viper will live out his retirement with the Toellen family, including Toellen’s son Jaxon.
“Viper turned his role from being with me to being with Jaxon,” Toellen said. “Wherever Jaxon is, Viper is. They play in the yard. He sleeps on the trundle bed below Jaxon. It’s priceless.”
Viper’s K-9 counterpart at the Hillsborough Police Department, Vader, will continue working with the department. Vader recently made headlines for tracking down a suspect in a breaking-and-entering case.
The 8-year-old police dog has developed an unidentified medical condition that is causing the retirement. The condition has made it impossible for Viper to walk long distances and carry out his duties.
Photo via Hillsborough Police