KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Police Dog Association spent a week training with canines in Lenoir County.

These dogs get certified each year to make sure they’re up to date on everything they need to know.

Canine Ziva has been with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office for six months and was a part of the training to get recertified in all of her areas of expertise. Seven canines went through the training, focusing on skills like tracking, apprehension and drug detection.

“Canines are extremely useful in law enforcement, due to the fact that they’re able to smell things at a much greater rate than what a person can smell,” said evaluator for the NC Police Dog Association, David Heath. 

This is the first time the nonprofit has worked with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.

“We use them almost every day,” said Jenny Morris, a deputy with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office and Ziva’s handler. “You never know what’s gonna happen, so we just go along with it. If we’re called out to search a vehicle or a premise for drugs or whatnot, or tracking, we do that as well.”

Since they’re used so frequently, it’s important to make sure their canines and handlers are up to par. 

“The reason that we do the recertifications annually is to ensure that the dogs are maintaining their current training status and they’re still able to do their job in a high capacity along with the handlers,” said Heath.

Deputies added that working alongside their furever friends, makes fighting crime a whole lot better.

“Day to day, she (K9 Ziva) is a very hard worker. She motivates me to come to work. She’s ready every day to go to work,” said Morris.

The nonprofit has canine certifications across the state every few months. To find more information on the NC Police Dog Association, click here.