After years of service with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, Marmalade is getting a chance to be a family pet for the rest of her life.

After years of service with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, Marmalade is getting a chance to be a family pet for the rest of her life.
Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser and the Sheriff's Citizens Academy class of 2017 honored the seven-year-old bloodhound Marmalade and her handler, former Sheriff's Deputy Adam Black, on her retirement from the office after four years in the K-9 Department.
Marmalade got a gift pack of toys, chew toys and treats as well as love and pats on the head from the dozens of people who attended Thursday's class.
Kaiser honored Marmalade with a certificate for her service.
“The K-9 Program serves a tremendous benefit to the Sheriff's Office, and especially a dog like Marmalade, a dog that can track, for example can save dozens, if not hundreds of man hours,” Kaiser said. “If we're sitting on a perimeter, trying to find someone who's run off, if we can have a dog come in and track that person down, we can have that done in 30 minutes, whereas we might have guys sitting on the perimeter for hours and hours waiting for to actually find this guy the old fashioned way, so the services they provide is invaluable.”
Black said large bloodhounds like Marmalade, who weighs in at just over 100 pounds, don't usually live much longer than seven years, so the department decided it was time for her to retire to let her have some time to be a pet instead of a working dog.
He said she was starting to have trouble getting in and out of the patrol car, which was the first indication that it was time for her to retire.
“She turns seven years old next week,” Black told the Citizens Academy on Thursday. “She's been with the Sheriff's Office for four years. She was donated by a private party in Kansas who could no longer handler her, so they thought she needs to work. She came to us, we trained her to not only track and trail lost children and lost people but also suspects that run from us. We joke that she's the mileage dog because she goes and goes and goes and her weakest part is me. After a few miles I'm done, but she'll go until she drops. Bloodhounds, they have an odor span of days instead of a few hours like a regular tracking K-9.”
Kaiser and Black talked about the community service K-9s like Marmalade provide.
“They are great ambassadors on behalf of the sheriff's office,” Kaiser said. “Kids love them and adults love them as well, so they do a great service for us at community functions and public events.”
“She's not a scary dog, so kids love her,” Black added. “She loves people, so we love to get her out in the schools and let her entertain.”
Kaiser said the Jasper County Sheriff's K-9 force is down to two dogs, but he said that will probably be enough for now. He said a new K-9 can range in price from free, like Marmalade, who was donated to the force, to up to $8,000 for a fully trained police dog.
“We'll see how things go with two dogs for now and stay with that for a while,” Kaiser said. “At one time we had five dogs with four handlers. We'll take advantage of any opportunities that arise, but for now we'll go with what we've got.”