Zira is a three and one-half year old female German shepherd working dog that was hired by the New Canaan Connecticut Police Department to re-institute their K-9 program. As many as 50 residents and dignitaries were in attendance to see Zira sworn in and stamp the town’s employee register with the help of the dog’s handler, Officer Mike McFadden. The event was held on Friday January 14, 2011 at the New Canaan High School.
The entire town pulled together to help raise the $76,000 to purchase Zira. The money raise will also keep her feed and pay for her veterinarian bills. And after many months of fundraising the New Canaan Police Department was able to officially welcome its newest and most ferocious new member. Local dignitaries including Police Chief Edward Nadriczny and Captain Leon Krolikowski made remarks during the ceremony which included an official oath. After which, Zira then stamped the town Oaths of Office book with a blue inky paw-print.
”It’s wonderful to see the town really focus on bringing a resource that we hope we don’t need to often, but it’s great to have here” said Cynthia Gorey, Executive Director of the New Canaan Community Foundation. Gorey went on to say, “It’s also great that Zira will do things like visit local Scout Troops and other organizations as a wonderful educational opportunity.”
The 80-pound Zira was born Slovakia German shepherd working dog and responds to German commands. Zira is trained to apprehend criminals, prevent crime, and can sniff-out lost items, missing persons and drugs. Handler, Officer McFadden explains, “I have had pets my whole life and this is definitely more intense, but also very enjoyable.
Bill Scribner, founder of Connecticut Police Work Dog Association is the man responsible for finding Zira for New Canaan. “Every town, every community, is looking for something different,” Scribner said. “Zira’s a fantastic dog and she has a lot of drive to do the job.”
Typically, dogs in this line of work retire in nine to ten years but how long until Zira becomes a Sergeant is anyone’s guess.