Max to retire

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 19, 2015

Max may have lost his master last week, but he still has his home.

That decision came following an opinion by prosecuting attorney Brigham Anderson on the fate of the German Malinois who was one-half of one of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 units.

For the past decade Max was teamed up with deputy Randy Rogers. However, when Rogers died suddenly earlier this month, Anderson was called upon to give his opinion before the future of Max could be determined.

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On Monday sheriff Jeff Lawless formally asked Anderson if Max could be retired from the sheriff’s office and turned over to Rogers’ wife, Debbie Rogers, who also took care of the dog.

“Apparently, most of the funds to purchase Max were donated by local businesses, except that you believe some county funds were used,” Anderson’s opinion states. “From a legal standpoint, it is our opinion that we must consider Max as personal property and any interest in the canine that the county may have had would be useless and valueless at this point due to his unavailability to continue to be used as a law enforcement canine.

“Therefore it is our opinion that it would be in your discretion to find a good home for Max and you can certainly exercise that discretion by designating Debbie Rogers as his new owner.”

Replacing Max and training him and his handler is expected to cost between $10,000 and $12,000, the majority of which, if not all, may come from contributions from local businesses, according to Lawless. Training would come from Southern Ohio Police Canine near Cincinnati.

Now the sheriff is asking if any of his officers would want to be a dog handler.

“Then we will start working on funds to obtain the dog,” Lawless said. “Dogs have become a tool in law enforcement. Max will be able to stay in the home he has been familiar with over the last 10 to 12 years.”