Homeless ‘Handful’ Shelter Puppy Is Now Part Of K9 Bomb Squad

A homeless shelter puppy, described as an energetic “handful,” turned out to be exactly what New Jersey’s Morris County Sheriff’s Office was looking for in a working K9. Boomer, a German shepherd/Labrador retriever mix, was discovered at the Parsippany Animal Control and Animal Shelter thanks to a chance conversation between Animal Control Officer Kaitlin Kopshaw and Sheriff’s Detective Corporal Mike McMahon.

Detective Corporal McMahon was visiting the animal shelter, searching for a bearded dragon for his son, when ACO Kopshaw told him about a lively puppy (previously named Becker) who wasn’t making the cut as a family dog. The Sheriff’s Office explained, “the dog had been to a few homes, but returned after a short time due to having a tremendous amount of energy.”

On the animal control officer’s suggestion, Detective Corporal McMahan met with the puppy to do some preliminary testing of his abilities. Then, on September 18, the shelter pup was further evaluated by Detective Sergeant Aaron Tomasini. As luck (or fate) would have it, Boomer’s high energy proved just what was needed for him to become an explosive detection dog.

Detective Sgt. Aaron Tomasini told Pix11, “He was a handful. He was a lot to deal with. But for us, guess what? That’s exactly what we are looking for, so it was perfect.” Boomer’s high-drive makes him a perfect candidate for police work.

Because he is a shelter dog, the taxpayers benefit as well.  Morris County Sheriff James Gannon explained, “We’re always looking at costs right? We have opportunity here with Boomer to get a dog for free. A dog can cost between $6,000 to $10,000.”

Parsippany Mayor James Barberio commented on the win-win situation:

“The Parsippany Animal Shelter is happy to work in accordance with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office. I am very thankful to the K-9 Section for adopting Becker from our animal shelter, now known as Boomer, and giving him an important job within their task force. We know Boomer will far exceed our expectations and we are anxiously awaiting all that he will accomplish!”

Detective Sergeant Aaron Tomasini of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section added:

“An opportunity like this doesn’t present itself very often. Having the ability to create a happy ending of a bad situation is truly inspiring. It just proves that every dog has a purpose.”

(Photo via Morris County Sheriff’s Office)

Find the Morris County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook here.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Elaine Whinston says:

    Thanks for this post! It is marvelous!

    And don’t tell me that it’s a duplicate post because it is not!

  2. Elaine Whinston says:

    Thanks for this post! It is marvelous!

  3. Elaine Whinston says:

    What a wonderful, heartwarming account!

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