Our canine team has been an integral part of OVERT since the inception of the team. During that time we have had the privilege of working with some amazing canine partners. Here is a profile of these dogs past and present.
Search Dog Ranger - German Shepherd - General Purpose Dog - Handler: Glen Turpin
Ranger was one the first two SAR dogs on OVERT. When the team was being developed Ranger was selected to fulfill this role. Ranger was an enthusiastic and capable SAR dog. He started his training when he was 14 months old in 1994 and served our team and community for 10 years until he passed. Ranger was always known for his superior tracking skills and working abilities no matter what task was placed before him. On top of our internal standards Ranger was also certified by a number of SAR organizations and the North American Police Work Dog Association.
Search Dog Kepley - German Shepherd - General Purpose Dog - Handler: Clint Neuls
Kepley was one of the first two SAR dogs with OVERT. He was trained as a general purpose K9 with a propensity for being methodical during his tracks. Kepley was in service with OVERT for over 8 years. During this time we was deployed on numerous search operations throughout the province as well as participated in numerous SAR seminars around North America. Kepley’s long coat look always grabbed the attention of members of the public that had the chance to see him.
Search Dog Jesse - Belgian Malinois - Cadaver Dog - Handler: Glen Turpin
Jesse a Belgian Malinois was OVERT s first cadaver dog. Jesse was trained as a cadaver dog and had a long and very successful life in this role. Jesse was a very high drive dog that loved to work. His deployments took him all over Ontario. Jesse was involved in a large number of major case investigations and high profile missing persons’ cases during his life.
Jesse was certified by our team and NAPWDA, and was used as the demonstration dog on a number of occasions during seminars. Jesse worked with OVERT for over 10 years. Jesse was also featured on a number of television programs such as Forensic factor with the Discovery Channel, and assisted in training forensic and homicide officers during courses over the years.
Search Dog Roscoe - German Shepherd - General Purpose - Handler: Glen Turpin
Roscoe came to OVERT later in his life after his service as police dog was shorten due to minor medical condition that would not impact on his operational ability as a SAR dog. Roscoe was an exceptional tracking dog on top of his other general purpose skills. He was known for his casual personality that would come to life when tasked with a problem. Roscoe served with OVERT for four years before he left us at 12 yrs of age and a distinguished life serving the community.
Search Dog Baas - Belgian Malinois - General Purpose - Handler: John Grima
After a very successful career as a police dog, Baas was brought in to the ranks of OVERT as he was not ready to retire. Baas was a very dynamic Belgian Malinois who was revered for his work abilities. Baas worked with OVERT for 3 years until he finally retired after a long and successful career. Baas participated in a number of high profile missing persons cases during his time with OVERT.
Despite his age, Baas never missed a beat and was featured at a NAPWDA national seminar due to his prolific career. Baas enjoyed retirement for a few years before he passed at 15 yrs.
Search Dog Lux - Belgian Malinois - General Purpose - Handler: Clint Neuls
Lux was trained as a general purpose dog and was his handlers second dog with OVERT. Lux was known for his easy going disposition in contrast to his working abilities. Lux’s agility was always cause for awe while he was training or working. His easy movements was deceptive when he was ready to go, his methodical tracking was an unusual trait for his breed. Lux served with our team until he was 11 years, giving over 10 years of his life to the service of his community.
Search Dog Bascoe - Belgian Malinois - Cadaver Dog - Handler: Bryan Armstrong
Bascoe was the second cadaver dog with OVERT. His drive and abilities made Bascoe the perfect candidate for his work as a cadaver dog. Bascoe was involved in numerous major case investigations throughout the province and a number of high profile missing persons’ cases. Bascoe was instrumental in the increase of use of cadaver dogs in the province of Ontario through his operational time and his time assisting with courses training police forensic officers and students in forensic programs around the province, as well appeared in a number of forensic shows showcasing the work of the dogs. Bascoe retired from service after 10 years with OVERT. Bascoe enjoyed retirement for a few years until passing at 15yrs.
Search Dog Justice - Belgian Malinois - General Purpose - Handler: Jason Cockburn
Justice came to the team after a major injury sidelined him from his role as a police service dog. Fortunately the injury to the leg was repaired and allowed Justice to take on the role as a SAR dog. His experience operationally was a significant asset to the OVERT team. Justice was operational with the team for 4 years until he retired. Justice was certified as a utility Dog at NAPWDA and was lauded for his abilities during these events. Justice also undertook training in urban SAR while with OVERT to add to his many accomplishments.
The canine unit of OVERT continues to be a significant part of our team. Here are the current SAR dogs with our team.
Search Dog Samson - German Shepherd - General Purpose - Handler: Leigh Schutt
Samson was selected by our trainer from a kennel in the US. His size and look immediately get the attention of those around him. He has been operational with OVERT since 2009 and has certified with NAPWDA. Samson is also trained in USAR and despite his size gets in to some very tight locations. He is a very methodical tracking dog and excels at the tasks put to him.
Search Dog Barak - German Shepherd - Cadaver Dog - Handler: Glen Turpin
Barak was brought from the Czech republic and was trained to continue the role of Cadaver work. Barak has been certified by NAPWDA for the past 5 years and was our first dog to deploy internationally. Barak is also trained in USAR skills for body recovery and during his deployment to Peru was the only cadaver dog in operation and was responsible for the location of the remains of persons not yet recovered. Barak is deceiving agile and has been found up a tree after climbing it to get to an off ground hide during training.
Search Dog Rohan - German Shepherd - General Purpose Dog - Handler: Mike Fortune
Rohan was also brought from the Czech republic and has proven to be an exceptional addition to the OVERT K9 unit. He has been in operation for 7 years and is an exceptional tracking and search dog. He is a tireless worker. Rohan is also trained for USAR and also deployed to Peru and was responsible for clearing a large number of structures that had not been searched.
Search Dog Niij - Labrador Retriever - Cadaver Dog - Handler: Dale Stevenson
Niij (pronounced Neech) has been a first for our team in a number of areas. He was the first rescue dog that we took to the team. He was rescued from Toronto animal services after he was deemed uncontrollable. He is also the first Labrador on the team. Niij has been trained as a cadaver dog and is certified by NAPWDA and has been operational for 3 years. His name is also unique as it was selected by the children of the traditional language class of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island first Nation. His name means Friend in Ojibway. Niij is a great example of what dogs are capable of if given the right training.
Search Dog Norm - English Cocker Spaniel - Cadaver Dog - Handler: John Grima
Norm is probably the most distinctive of the OVERT K9 unit, being a spaniel and chocolate in colour makes him an instant draw for the public. He is a very dynamic and exceptional SAR dog despite his size. Norm is certified with NAPWDA and has also been trained for USAR operations. While at first it was thought his stature would limit him operationally it has proven to be an asset. While Norm has excelled as a cadaver dog, he is exceptional a water search operations. Norm is currently on a leave with his Handler and team Trainer John, while John is working with an agency training IED detection dogs for the US Marine corps.
Search Dog Balko - German Shepherd - General Purpose Dog - Handler: Glen Turpin
Balko came to us from Germany at 18 months after being selected for work with the by the US military but then was taken out of the program for having an impacted canine. He is very distinct looking Sable shepherd with a significant amount of working drive. Balko is currently in training as a general purpose dog. He is nearing the end of his training and will be deployed after completing this training program.
Search Dog Jazz - Belgian Malinois - Cadaver Dog - Handler: Clint Neuls
Jazz is also currently in training, she is the first female dog on OVERT and her Malinois drive is proving to be a great asset to our team. She is exceptionally agile and is taking to the work as a SAR dog. Jazz is expected to complete her training this summer and to be operational after certifying.