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Tuesday, 08 March, 2016

IN THE NEWS: Canine Iraq Veteran Joins Frederick Sheriff’s Office Staff

Photo courtesy of SOC

Canine Iraq Veteran Joins Frederick Sheriff’s Office Staff

Posted: March 8, 2016


The Winchester Star

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jonathan Pyles holds Pucho, a Belgian Malinois trained to detect explosives. SOC LLC donated Pucho to the Sheriff’s Office on Monday in Martinsburg, W.Va. In the background are Tim Crawford (from left), SOC’s director of canine training, and Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland.

WINCHESTER — After serving a year in the Middle East, Pucho is embarking on a new challenge in his new home in the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

The dog was donated by Chantilly-based SOC LLC, a company that carries out national security missions supporting the federal government, international organizations and corporations.

Last year, Pucho, a 72-pound Belgian Malinois, was deployed to Iraq. He is trained to detect hazardous materials, explosives and narcotics, and provide security and patrol services.

After Pucho’s tour of duty in Iraq, SOC needed to find him a home in America. Eventually, the company decided Pucho would be best suited to work for a law enforcement agency.

“It’s what’s embedded in them, to want to work all of the time versus sitting in a kennel somewhere or being given to a family,” Holly Holt, SOC’s director of communications and marketing, said Monday.

“We really want to find the right home for these dogs.”

Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland picked up Pucho on Monday in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Tim Crawford, director of canine training at SOC, said it was difficult to see Pucho depart, even though he knows he will be a good fit for the Sheriff’s Office.

“We grow very attached to our dogs and it is difficult to see them retire,” Crawford said, according to a Monday news release.

 “It’s really about finding the right home for the personality of the dog. We want to place our retired canines somewhere where they can continue service, have a great life and get lots of love.”

Millholland said during an interview Monday that Pucho will assist with searches, track people and detect narcotics.

“After serving our great nation, we are proud to honor Pucho with the right home in beautiful Frederick County, where he can continue to do what he knows best as a dual-purpose canine, protection as a patrol dog and explosive detection,” said Millholland in the press release.

“We thank SOC’s working dogs program for their generous donation, Pucho, a new member of our staff and family.”

— Contact Josh Janney at

Photo courtesy of SOC

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