In March, the North Haven PD welcomed a new member, K9 Quella. The 14-month-old black lab is paired with Joseph Bianchi, a six-year veteran of the department who always wanted to be a K9 officer.
“We’re excited for Joe and his new partner and look forward to getting them into training,” Deputy Police Chief Andrew Stavrides said. “Joe and Quella, who will be trained in multiple disciplines, will allow us to better serve the residents of North Haven.”
Quella came from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind organization in Patterson, New York. There, it was determined that she would be better-suited for a different job.
“These types of dogs are bred to work,” Bianchi said, speaking of his new partner. “Her family line came from working dogs, so she was born to be one as well.”
At nearly 60 pounds, Quella is fully grown.
“These types of dogs are known to be relaxed and chill,” Bianchi said. “With their type of work, you don’t want them all over the place.”
The dog-centric website wagwalking.com points out that labs were bred to find game and bring it back to the hunter, but now, "their exceptionally strong nose" often is used to "sniff out drugs, explosives, weapons, or people."
"A lab’s high energy level makes him an excellent dog for the police," the website states. "His need to exercise, hunt and be mentally stimulated are all satisfied when he trains with police. His hunting skill that at one point in time might have been used to grab that duck is now used to find illegal drugs or weapons."
Bianchi said labs often work up to eight years or more.
When Quella retires, she'll continue to live with Bianchi and his family.