K-9 Unit

rex badge

On 6/23/2018, the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office lost a trusted partner, K9 Rex.  K9 Rex had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer (Subcutaneous Hemangiosarcoma) after an emergency surgery June 13th.

 K9 Rex served with the Sheriff’s Office since 2012.  A high-energy German Shepard, he was purchased from White Collar Canine after being hand-picked from the Netherlands.  K9 Rex received his "pre-service" training at the Southfield Police Department.  Both Deputy Ottinger and K9 Rex participated in a five-week training program at Oakland Community College.

 K9 Rex and his handler have been credited with finding lost children, tracking wanted suspects, and successful narcotics detection.  K9 Rex has touched many lives while serving Muskegon County.

The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit consists of team Deputy James Ottinger and canine partner Rex. 

Rex was purchased in 2012, purchased from White Collar Canine. Rex is a male German Shepherd out of the Netherlands. The purchase was made with money donated through the Muskegon Community Foundation for the K-9 program.  Once the purchase was made, Deputy Ottinger and Rex completed a 5 week K-9 Academy through Oakland Community College.  The K-9 team is certified by the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers (NAPCH).  The team is certified in narcotics detection, tracking, area and building searches, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension, obedience, and handler protection.  Deputy James Ottinger and his canine partner Rex continue to participate in many hours of training to further their skills and maintain certifications.

The K-9 team is utilized by the Muskegon County Sheriff's Office and other police departments across West Michigan.  The team has been successful in the following:

-Locating narcotics

-Tracking and locating evidence involved in crimes

-Tracking and locating suspects in crimes

-Tracking a missing elderly alzheimer subject

-Assisting police with clearing buildings, making it safer for the officer

-Searches in local schools

When Rex is not working, he enjoys running and playing outside with family.

Our canine is a valuable asset in fighting crime and making our community safer.  The Muskegon County Sheriff's Office K-9 Team would not be possible without the following:

Funding from the Muskegon Community Foundation

Vet services donated by Whitehall Pet Practice of Whitehall, MI

Food is supplied by Tri-County Feed Services of Montage, MI