The Mountlake Terrace Police Department has welcomed a new member with four legs and a lot of enthusiasm for the job. K9 Jax and his handler Officer Heidi Froisland have only been working together a few months and so far, they’re off to a great start.
“He’s a sweetheart, just a really good dog,” Froisland said. “He’s all puppy.”
Jax is a boxer-pitbull mix who loves eating grass, chasing bugs and playing catch.
Jax joined the department in March after it was determined his predecessor K9 Ziggy did not have the temperament to be a police dog. After two days of unsuccessful training, Ziggy was sent off to an early retirement with a new family and Froisland was referred to police dog trainer Barb Davenport.
Davenport has trained more than 450 narcotics dogs used in agencies across the Pacific Northwest. Davenport’s work was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and by the time Froisland contacted her, she only had one dog left.
Jax had just come from two weeks of training with another police department. When it did not work out between Jax — at the time named Pink Floyd — and the other department, he was sent back to Davenport. However, she was determined to find him a job. Not long after, she was contacted by Froisland.
“He was just a really good dog, but hadn’t had a chance,” Froisland said.
Jax is already a little battle-scarred, but he’s ready to take up the mantle of Mountlake Terrace’s next police dog. All that is known about Jax’s history prior to joining the police department is that at some point he was shot in the head and hit by a car.
In spite of his rough past, Froisland said Jax has already made a good first impression with the rest of the department.
She also said the public might hear Jax’s loud barking while they are driving around town, but that just means he’s excited and ready to work.
–Story and photo by Cody Sexton