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Town of Gaston recognizes local dog breeder for giving them a bloodhound for tracking

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – The town of Gaston recognized local dog breeder Shanna Osborn Tuesday night for giving their police department a full-blooded blood hound that’s now been officially cleared to track. The hound named Bella recently was certified and has already had her first successful track when a young man fled from a traffic stop.

Osborn owns Carolina Blood Hounds’ R US near Edmund, a kennel that raises AKC registered bloodhounds. She has been breeding these fine animals for more than 15 years and has had as many as 10 dogs at a time. Right now, she has six, a mix of males and females, that live in pampered conditions. Osborn said, “They’ve all been in and out of our house and my children help feed and care for them. They shower them with love and treat them like they are all our pets.” In the years she’s been breeding, her females have had more than 25 litters of pups.

Each time one of her females has a litter, she tries to give away one or two to some organization or person who’s in need. She already given a dog to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and gives them as service animals to people who suffer from disorders like seizures or PTSD. She has shipped dogs across America and even has one of her dogs in Alaska.

About a year ago, one of her females Trixie, delivered a litter. The father was Clyde. Once the puppies were eight-weeks old, she began to look for a local police department who needed and wanted a dog. Because the Gaston department so often requested the county’s K-9 teams respond to track, they readily welcomed the gift.

Captain Brandon Poole was assigned to be Bella’s handler. He trained with the sheriff’s department once a week until Bella was ready to be tested for certification. Just two weeks ago, she passed the test and was ready to hit the road. Although Poole and Bella are certified, they still train regularly with the deputies that handle the K-9’s for the county.

Diamond Pet Foods, a company who has a manufacturing plant in Gaston, has donated all of Bella’s food. Another person donated the proper cage for Captain Poole’s car. This saved the town a great deal of money with her ongoing expense.

Osborn said that she normally charges $1,200 for an AKC registered dog that comes with full breeding rights. She maintained the rights to Bella which means that she would need to give permission for her to deliver fully registered AKC pups. That puts the value of Bella’s donation to the police at $950, a great deal for a small town like Gaston.

On Bella’s first track, she followed the suspect to a point where he caught a ride in a car from a man who didn’t know the police were chasing him. The young man she was tracking was a convicted felon who had guns and drugs in his car. When he took off, Bella was put on the track and worked flawlessly, just as she was trained. Bella not only tracks fugitives, she can also be used to help find lost children and elderly people with compromised minds that might wander away.

Major Stephen Watkins, spokesman for the Gaston Police Department, said that Bella has already been a huge asset for the department. “Being able to put Bella on a track so quickly, helps us to do our job better. Because she’s not a dog that’s trained to bite suspects, not only can she track, we can take her to schools and other public events where people can pet and interact with her; she’s very friendly. This helps us improve our relationship with the community.”

At the council meeting Tuesday, Osborn was presented a plaque by the mayor and council to show their appreciation for her gift. After receiving the recognition, Osborn said, “It was awesome to see that Bella was on the track and successful on The Ledger’s social media site. I couldn’t have been prouder of her.”

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