Athens PD welcomes new K-9 to one-man department

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The Athens Police Department just got a little bit bigger as a 4-legged officer hits the streets this week.

Officer in Charge C.T. Lowe says says other agencies in the county are often too busy to assist Athen’s police department, meaning a K-9 is a huge help. This week, Lowe welcomes home Mathias, a two-year-old doberman pinscher born in Serbia and trained in Germany.

“He was trained in Germany and then he was driven to Holland and flown from Holland to Washington where Makor K9 picked him up for us,” said Lowe. “We were able to pick him up on Monday.”

For the next two weeks, Lowe and Mathias will spend time bonding and getting to know each other.

“I’m a huge doberman fan. I had a doberman for 14 years. I know how laser-focused they are and I like the short haired dog in the car.”

Mathias starts out as a patrol dog, making sure everything in the small town goes smoothly. Down the line, Lowe hopes he’ll be trained to do even more for the community.

“We go through Makor K9  in the Glade Springs area. [The owner] facilitated us getting the dog and he’ll be training me as well as the dog… He’s certified so he knows what to do and we follow his direction.”

Lowe couldn’t be more excited to welcome Mathias to the team-and into his home. he thanks the community, saying it couldn’t be done without their donations.

“We also would like to think Princeton PD, Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and Bluefield PD for letting us talk with them and getting vital information and helping us make our decision to get started in the canine program.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at