K9 Officer Artie, a Belgian Malinois, enjoyed his first day on the job last Thursday, when he was delivered to the department and his new partner, Officer Walter Moore by H & S Controlled K9 out of Chico.

Mount Shasta Police Department’s newest officer has four legs, soft fur, and a toothy smile that lets you know he is ready to play.

K9 Officer Artie, a Belgian Malinois, enjoyed his first day on the job last Thursday, when he was delivered to the department and his new partner, Officer Walter Moore by H & S Controlled K9 out of Chico.

“He was born and bred to be a K9 officer,” said MSPD Lieutenant Joe Restine, “since he was 8 weeks old, as soon as he could be away from his mother ... We all love him. He’s super cute.”

Moore, who joined the MSPD in 2017, said he has always had an affinity for dogs and is excited for the opportunity to have a K9 partner. He and Artie have spent the past week getting to know one another.

Artie is a social dog, Restine said. “He doesn’t have a ‘I want to hurt you’ bone in his body ... he just wants to play.” Artie’s version of “play” is actually performing his law enforcement job.

Artie is already trained for apprehension and tracking, explained Restine. He’s able to chase down a suspect and “hold on gently with his teeth” while officers gain control of a situation. He’s also able to sweep buildings and track suspects by smell. Later, Artie will be trained in narcotics detection, Restine said.

Most of all, however, the MSPD is excited to have Artie because he’s a great deterrent for criminals who may consider fleeing a scene. He will also be used for community outreach.

It’s been 19 years since the MSPD had a K9 on the force, said Restine.

The funding to obtain Artie was provided by the Medford, Oregon-based Arthur R. Dubs Foundation, which is where he got his name.

After seeing a video the MSPD posted to its Facebook page in May, spoofing a K9 video using Officer Devon Priddy’s portly pug Stella, Michele Pillon, director of the Arthur R. Dubs Foundation, contacted the department wondering if they’d like to have a real K9 officer.

They asked how much the department needed to start a K9 program, and the MSPD applied for a grant, Restine explained.

The foundation’s board of directors soon awarded the MSPD $76,022 in grant funding for the purpose, said MSPD Chief Parish Cross when the Mount Shasta City Council unanimously gave the go-ahead to secure Artie as a new officer in August.

An additional $15,000 was raised from the local community for the program, Cross said.

Dubs was an avid outdoorsman who owned a Southern Oregon custom home building business in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, according to the foundation’s website. He later started a motion picture business; one of his films, “Windwalker,” was nominated for an Academy Award in the early 1980s.

The Arthur R. Dubs Foundation was formed in 1996 to honor and perpetuate Dubs’ legacy and continues to support programs throughout the State of Jefferson with grants after Dubs’ death in 2013.

Thanks to the organization, the MSPD has enough funding for everything Artie will need for the next year. The department will be doing extra fundraising to support its K9 program in the upcoming months, Restine said.

After Artie and Moore get used to one another, they’ll attend a five week training so Moore can become a certified K9 handler and Artie can begin his official law enforcement career.