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In 2005, Copper was found abandoned and was surrendered to Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue. During his veterinary workup, Copper was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, a condition which gave him a raspy bark, but otherwise he was a healthy golden retriever.

King County Sheriff Deputy Miller was an approved adopter who wanted a dog to train for the Sheriff's K-9 unit. He met Copper and was instantly in love, claiming he would adopt Copper even if he wasn't able to complete the narcotic detection program. Despite his laryngeal paralysis (which becomes more agitated as he gets excited), Copper excelled in his training and became a full-time member of the Sheriff's K-9 corps. He is an outstanding narcotics detection dog and has completed over 1200 "sniffs" of buildings, vehicles, packages, bags and other items. Copper is credited with over 250 narcotics arrests and the seizure of over $2.5 million in cash and property related to narcotics trafficking. In 2006, Copper was named K-9 of the Year for King County. In 2007, Copper and his handler, Deputy Miller, won the Golden Rescue And Community Excellence Award in the area of Law Enforcement.

While most dogs work to please their specific handlers, Deputy Miller says Copper doesn't work just for him, but gets excited to perform for the detectives and deputies who request his assistance. Retirement is coming for Copper and Deputy Miller and when it arrives, it will be a sad day for the Sheriff's Office as well as other city and federal agencies who have come to rely on their expertise. Not only is Copper an excellent detection canine, he also brings a smile on the face of anyone he comes in contact with.


Copper was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.


Detective Kristi Bridgman
Maple Valley, WA

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