The Huron County Commissioners approved the retirement of Bea, a member of the sheriff’s office since 2010. Her handler is Detective Sgt. Josh Querin.
“I received her in May of 2010 and got certified in May 2010,” Querin said.
“She was all-purpose certified,” the detective added, referring to Bea being trained and certified in drug searches, tracking and apprehension. “The last few years I stopped certifying her in tracking and focused on drugs.”
The calm and affectionate German shepherd turned 12 in May.
“She’s just old and was taken off the road. He (Querin) agreed to take her. Basically we sold her to him for $1,” Commissioner Tom Dunlap said.
Selling a police dog to their handler/owner upon retirement is a common practice.
“We’ve done it a couple times since I’ve been commissioner,” said Dunlap, who served one term as Huron County sheriff. “You’ll find that other police departments do the same thing.”
Between May and Dec. 31, 2010, Querin said he and Bea collaborated on 88 drug seizures related to traffic stops and her first was within 15 minutes of being certified.
“She was an awesome partner for the last 6 1/2 years,” added the detective, who estimated Bea was involved in hundreds of drug-related searches.
“Josh and Bea were the most successful team we had,” Sheriff Dane Howard said. “Bea always had a powerful nose on her.”
As of the fall of 2012, the sheriff’s office had four canine units. Howard said after he was elected in 2008, one of his priorities was upgrading and emphasizing the importance of K-9s in fighting the drug problem in the area and using police dogs in law enforcement.
“During my career we tried to remove heroin from the streets. That’s the main drug that was the main problem during my time as sheriff,” he said.
Recently, Deputy Shawn Taylor resigned to take a job with the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office. He had been the handler for Noro.
That means since Bea’s date of retirement is pending, the sheriff’s office soon will be without a canine unit. Sheriff-elect Todd Corbin will take over in January, having defeated Howard in the November election.
“The sheriff can assign the K-9s as he sees fit,” Howard said.
About Bea, Howard said the German shepherd was one of the “unbelievable assets” in fighting crime. He estimates that dogs typically work the streets for an average of seven to eight years.
“She loved going to work,” said Querin, Bea’s handler and owner. “We took a lot of drugs off the street.”
Querin and his dog also were involved in many demonstrations at local schools.
“The kids got as much enjoyment out of it as her handler did,” he said.
Bea has become an important part of Querin’s family — as seen in her bond with his 2-year-old son.
“Maddox is all over her. He climbs on her like she’s a puppy. I don’t know how comfortable it is for Bea, but she never flinches,” Querin said.