VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) --A Ventura church has donated a German shepherd K-9 to local law enforcement for helping search-and-rescue missions and tracking down suspects. The gift from the Ventura Baptist Congregation is believed to be the first of its kind, according to the National Police Dog Foundation.
Falco is a two-and-a-half year-old from Germany. His handler, Officer Keith Therrien of the Ventura Police Department, had to learn a few German words to help train Falco.
"The K-9s are used primarily as a locating tool," Therrien said. "They can search out and sniff out bad guys, missing people. It's an invaluable asset to the department."
The donation comes as dog handlers on Sunday celebrate National K-9 Veterans' Day, honoring the use of dogs in the military that started in 1942.