Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has announced the death of one of K-9 Robby, a Belgian Malinois. K-9 Robby came to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in April of 2009 (at the age of 2) from Holland. Once he arrived, Robby began his training as one of the department’s bomb dogs; his training also covered criminal apprehension and patrol work.

On March 15 during a veterinary visit, it was determined that there was a mass in his throat which was inoperable, and March 16 it was determined that the Richland County Sheriff’s Department needed to say goodbye to an unsung hero.

K-9 Robby was partnered with Senior K-9 Specialist Deputy Max Anderson who served his country as a Security Police K-9 Officer in the United States Air Force for 16 years before joining the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in 2013. During their successful partnership at The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, K-9 Robby’s primary responsibility was the safety and security of thousands of people during large public and private events. These events included University of South Carolina Football games, concerts, Presidential visits, Presidential candidate visits, airport sweeps, public transportation sweeps to include railways and bus stations sweeps, and Federal and County courthouse sweeps.

K-9 Robby’s career included capturing a number of criminals attempting to evade law enforcement; this is another example of how K-9 Robby continued to work to keep the citizens of Richland County safe. Just last week Team Robby and Max, while working patrol, assisted in capturing a thief who had stolen a motorcycle, and also captured a home invasion suspect.

Throughout his career K-9 Team Robby and Max were involved in hundreds of community functions because it was very obvious that he enjoyed interaction with children and adults in their schools, churches and local businesses.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department stated that in lieu of flowers, that donations can be made to provide vests to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit in the name of K-9 Robby. You can forward your support to the Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation, PO Box 1182 Columbia, South Carolina 29202.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit is part of the Special Operations Division and is under the command of Major Chris Cowan. The purpose of the K-9 Unit is to provide the citizens of Richland County with trained police service dogs to help locate illegal narcotics, apprehend fleeing felons, detect explosive devices and find lost/missing persons. At present the unit has twelve Belgian Malinois, one German Shepherd, and one Dutch Shepherd mix. Each dog has proven on numerous occasions to be an asset to the department and the community.

Each dog must be trained and certified in its particular duties. As officers must be continuously trained in law enforcement, so must police dogs. Most of the training is conducted by the unit’s handlers and trainer several times a week. The K-9 Unit also invites other agencies to attend training sessions in order to train their dogs, as Richland County has one of the most respected and successful K-9 Units in the state.