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Apr 21, 2015 3:11 PM

Meet Jasper, the latest puppy heartthrob at Strafford County Sheriff's Department


DOVER - There is a new crime stopper in training at the Strafford County Sheriff's Department.

Jasper, a 9-week-old bloodhound, has been working for two weeks with Deputy Kris Kerkensen, who will be his handler.

So far, the two have been bonding, but on Tuesday, Jasper was allowed to strut his stuff inside the county courthouse in Dover.

Kerkensen said he brought the puppy there so he could become more confident around strangers.

"He's starting to come out of his shell a little bit," Kerkensen said. "We just have to get him used to seeing people."

Jasper was all about it. He sniffed around the hall while his already long ears swept the ground beside his face. Then, after a few minutes, Jasper laid down, just like he owned the place.

Kerkensen said he plans to train Jasper with another famous Strafford County bloodhound, Daisy Mae. She and her handler, Deputy Keith MacKenzie, won an award for bravery after they apprehended an armed fugitive near the Canadian border in Maine last year.

Daisy Mae and MacKenzie travel all over the state and country to help track down criminals on the run. Kerkensen hopes Jasper will be as well-trained as Daisy Mae someday, and said the little guy will also be able to assist in search and rescue missions.

"He's still a puppy, so it's hard to say, but I feel confident with him that he's going to be a good boy," Kerkensen said.

Tomorrow, the fifth and sixth-graders at Rollinsford Grade School will meet Jasper for the first time. They picked his name through an election that was held last month.

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