KT and JesseIt was third time lucky for detector dog team Karina Thomas (KT) and Jesse who took out first place in the narcotic detector dog category at this year’s National Police Dog Trials.

The Auckland based team, who you may have spotted on TVNZ’s Dog Squad, aren’t strangers to the event, having been the runners up in 2015 and 2016.

The national narcotic detector dog trials involve six teams from Police, Customs and Corrections taking part in seven searches over three days.

“I feel very privileged to represent the department with Jesse and to get first place is a great achievement,” says KT. “There are some really top class handlers out there and I feel very honoured to compete with them.”

KT has been a dog handler with Corrections for five years and worked with Jesse, a kelpie cross, since 2013.

Ricky Trevithick and Preston, based at Rimutaka prison, also competed at the event after joining the detector dog team in December last year.

“I feel extremely excited to be such a new handler and to have the opportunity to represent Corrections Dog Section and the wider department at a national event,” says Ricky.

“I think Preston would also say he is proud to represent all the other fantastic drug dogs we have at the Department of Corrections.”

Corrections has 24 detector dog teams across the country who work to keep contraband out of prison.

“We’re very proud of both teams that competed this week,” says Jay Mills, Manager Specialist Search. “KT and Jesse do an exceptional job and are very deserving of the win.”

Ricky and Preston