While Bailey trained at the CDCR K-9 Academy, two special guests proudly watched from the sidelines: the dog’s original owners who donated her to the academy.
The day was a treat for Sarah and Brandon Adkins, watching the dog they raised for nearly a year, now acting as part of a CDCR K-9 team.
The academy, at the former Northern California Women’s Facility in Stockton, trains dogs to search for contraband in prison facilities.
Two years ago, the couple donated Saylor, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois, to the CDCR K-9 Academy. After accepting the donation, Saylor was re-named Bailey.
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To re-home Saylor, Sarah posted information and photos to various websites.
“And then I got a voicemail from a police officer saying they were interested in meeting with Saylor,” said Sarah.
It’s not an easy decision to give up your dog for adoption, but Bailey, formerly Saylor, is enjoying her new career as a contraband interdiction K-9 for the California prison system.
“I think it was necessary because it just became overwhelming with how driven she was and how demanding she was with our time. We were spending most of our time with her at the park, taking her out on walks and training. It just kind of overtook our life, and we wanted to provide the best life for her we could. It was just so hard to do in such a confined space so we knew she needed more and we needed to give her more,” said Brandon.
Soon after Bailey joined CDCR, she attended and graduated from the K-9 Academy. Her win impressed K-9 Academy instructor Sgt. Avra Karanikolas.
“Last year we did the first annual statewide K-9 training. We actually had a friendly competition in that training as well. All K-9 handlers from all the prisons in the CDCR system came up to this area up here, and we conducted a training, and we did timed events and Bailey got number one out of over 60 dogs,” said Karanikolas.
The Adkins are very proud of Bailey.
“That was all the gratification we needed. It was like we sent our kid to a top-tier college or the NFL. It was amazing to see, and we couldn’t be more proud,” Brandon explained.
“Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. Honestly it just solidified my decision. I knew she was special. Her winning top dog out of 70 dogs tells me I made the right decision and she’s very, very happy. This is where she’s meant to be,” Sarah said.
CDCR K-9 program and donated dogs
CDCR has two K-9 teams assigned to each CDCR institution statewide, for a total of 68. Each team attends and must successfully pass the Department’s 280-hour course of training. They are specially trained to detect narcotics and contraband such as cell phones and tobacco.
The mission of the canine unit is to combat the introduction of illegal drugs and contraband into CDCR facilities and reduce the overall level of drug/contraband and criminal activity within the inmate population, enhancing the safety and security of the institution and public at-large.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss donating a dog to CDCR, just go to the CDCR website at cdcr.ca.gov, click on Find a Facility and ask for the K-9 Coordinator at that facility.
Story by Joe Orlando, Public Information Officer
Video by Rob Stewart, TV Specialist
Office of Public and Employee Communications