New K-9 recruit at the Vermont State Police

The Vermont State Police have a new recruit! Loki, a Plott hound, is joining the green-and-gold.  At 9 weeks old, the Plott hound is the newest K-9 for the Vermont State Police. “She is full of energy,” Vt. State Tpr. Chris Hunt said. “And will wipe right out if she needs to take a nap.” Hunt gets to work with the newest member of the green-and-gold. “I was pretty psyched,” he said. “It’s going to be an adventure for both of us.”

After a national search, the 2-month-old puppy was picked up from a breeder in Houston last week. “She is from Texas; she doesn’t like the cold yet,” Hunt noted. Hunt has previous K-9 experience. The Plott hound will live with him full time. “You depend on them and they depend on you,” he said.

In March, the two will head to New Hampshire for 15 weeks of training with Granite State troopers who also have Plott hounds. “We have to succeed. So, that’s a lot of pressure on me. So, I’ll take it to heart and do the best I can as a team with her leading the way,” Hunt said.

This new recruit will use her powerful nose for public safety. “For good and bad reasons her job is going to be to find people,” Hunt said. But it has been a while since Vermont State Police had a hound on staff. They were slowly phased out in the ’90s. Eventually, Loki will join a K-9 Unit of 16 patrol dogs, four bomb-detection dogs and one arson dog. Patrol dogs can track for a couple of hours. The head of VSP’s K-9s says a hound will be a huge help. “This is a game-changer because it can go in a lot longer than that,” said Rich Slusser, the state police K-9 coordinator.

So where does the name Loki come from? Hunt says he picked it after watching a TV show. “I have been watching the series ‘Vikings’ and I kind of liked the name Loki, and then I looked it up. It meant the god of mischief in Norwegian,” Hunt explained. “I thought that would be perfect for a puppy.” Hunt and Loki hope to be ready to hit the street this summer.