By Melody Vallieu
Editor, Miami Valley Today
MIAMI COUNTY — A sheriff’s deputy has brought two of his loves — his job and dogs — together into one.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ryan Thobe has become the office’s newest K9 handler, along with his K9 Vello.
Thobe, a graduate of Madison Local Schools, has been a road deputy with the sheriff’s office for two years. Working third shift, Thobe said he continues to do the same job as other road deputies, but now also handles K9 calls for the agency, other agencies and for his own calls.
He also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Wright State University, with a minor in Psychology, and a focus on American Sign Language. He then also graduated from Sinclair’s Police Academy.
Thobe said the new position fits him perfectly.
“My wife and I are big dog lovers, and I have always thought it would be a lot of fun,” Thobe said. “I have one unemployed dog of my own named Gunner.”
Vello has only been in the country for about four months, having come from Germany, Thobe said. He said his commands also are all in German. Both recently completed weeks of training and were successfully certified by the state.
“We have a very good bond together. My wife even gets jealous because he always wants to be by my side instead of hers,” Thobe said, jokingly.
Thobe said Vello, who is 1 1/2 years old, is trained for tracking, narcotic searches, article searches, and area and building searches.
“Vello can not only find bad guys, but also lost or endangered people, such as children and the elderly,” said Thobe, who said Vello can help other agencies inside the county and out with such needs.
Thobe said Vello, who is Sable colored, is already a hard working partner.
“As soon as I let him out of my cruiser, no matter where we are, he pulls me to the closest car to try to find something,” said Thobe, who said Vello lives with him in an outside kennel, which is more like a house. “He is best at sniffing out drugs, but is also good at tracking.”
K9 Bear retired earlier this year, and continues to live with his handler Deputy Will Roberts.
“I also want to thank and commend K9 handler Deputy Will Roberts and his K9 partner Bear for years of service to the sheriff’s office and county,” said Sheriff Dave Duchak. “Deputy Roberts and Bear had many successful tracks and narcotics seizures over the years. Job well done to both.”
Thobe said he can’t wait to see what opportunities he and Vello will have together in the future.
“I’m just very grateful that the sheriff’s office has awarded me with the opportunity to be a K9 handler,” Thobe said.
Thobe and Vello are also available to offer demonstrations to civic groups and schools, according to Duchak. If interested in a demonstration, contact the Miami County Sheriff’s Office to schedule a date and time.