Okeechobee County K9 Officers Retire

Two of Okeechobee's finest-- and furriest--have retired from the department. Of the six K9 Officers at the Sheriff's Office, two are leaving active duty. K9 Officer Rex and K9 Officer Ruby are now retired.

Officer Rex is retiring after more than 9 years with the department, after an extremely successful career with his handler, Detective Rick Voss. Rex has had a productive career in both drug and suspect apprehensions. Rex together with Detective Voss, made hundreds of narcotic arrests and have seized well over $10,000.00 in US currency. He also assisted in more than thirty criminal apprehensions which also included nine bites. Rex will join the Voss family as their pet upon his retirement.

Officer Ruby has worked with her handler, Cpl. Donald Ellis, for the past ten years and has had a productive career in assisting with numerous narcotic and criminal arrests related to narcotic finds.
Officer Ruby will spend her retirement as Cpl. Ellis' family pet.

The bond between a handler and K9 partner is inexplicable. While deputy partnerships are clearly important, that between a K9 and his officer take on a different dimension.

The Working Dog

My eyes are your eyes,
to watch and protect you and yours.
My ears are your ears,
to hear and detect evil minds in the dark.
My nose is your nose,
to scent the invader of your domain.
And so you may live,
my life is also yours.

Sheriff May said of the retirements, "We appreciate all that K9 Ruby and K9 Rex have done for the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Okeechobee County. Together they have apprehended some really bad people and stopped a lot of dope from being sold on the streets, sometimes to our children. I thank Detective Rick Voss for K9 Rex and Cpl. Don Ellis for K9 Ruby. They will be almost impossible to replace. I wish them the very best in their retirement and hope that their retirement is a long one."