Dog News

Meet Daxx, VYCF drug‑sniffing dog

Four CDCR K-9 teams including Daxx, with a prison in the background.
K-9 Daxx and his handler, second from left, completed the CDCR K-9 Academy in early November.

First DJJ team graduates CDCR K-9 Academy

K-9 partners are used for drug interdiction across CDCR and the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), including one special dog named Daxx.

Correctional Officer and his dog Daxx.
K-9 Youth Correctional Officer Vavasseur and his dog partner Daxx.

Correctional facilities statewide use various drug interdiction strategies, also involving the use of K-9s. The goal is to maintain a drug-free environment, maximizing safety and security all while prioritizing treatment.

K-9 Daxx is a big part of Ventura Youth Correctional Facility’s drug interdiction strategy, assisting peace officers with searches in and around the institution.

Daxx, already highly trained, recently completed a seven-week training with the CDCR K-9 Academy. He graduated November 5. This is the first time a DJJ K-9 has been accepted into the academy.

Due to the tireless efforts of Lieutenant Gross to ensure Daxx’s training is up to date with DJJ standards and policies, he collaborated with CDCR’s Northern and Southern K-9 Programs.

There was an extensive vetting process, making K-9 Daxx’s entry into the CDCR K-9 Academy possible.

With the extra training, Daxx can now assist in interagency emergencies. He’s also been certified in narcotics and cell phone detection.

Daxx’s handler, Youth Correctional Officer Nicholas Vavasseur, helped his 5-year-old four-legged partner complete the academy.

By Karette Fussell, Supervising Casework Specialist

Learn more about CDCR’s K-9 programs.

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