CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – A West Virginia Division of Forestry (WVDOF) K-9 is retiring after 10 years of service “sniffing out forest fires and chasing down arsonists,” according to Gov. Jim Justice’s office.

K-9 Raisy, a member of the WVDOF Investigative Unit, was honored by Justice and ‘Babydog’ for her years of award-winning service. Her Investigative Unit partner Don Kelley says Raisy has been a loyal companion throughout their nine years working as a team.

“Raisy is a loyal companion and has dedicated her life to fighting crime, and I’m going to miss working with her,” Kelly said.

Throughout her career, Raisy has been part of 197 wildfire arson investigations. She has also helped with 29 missing persons cases as well as 78 criminal investigations for outside agencies, Justice’s office says. The governor’s office also says Raisy has even helped federal agencies with seven wildfire investigations in other states, including Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, and California.

“Dogs have been known for a long time for being man’s best friend for all the comfort and joy they bring, but some dogs rise above that,” Justice said. “Investigative K-9s like Raisy take their four-legged duty to the next level. Raisy has been solving crimes and winning awards for years and we are so appreciative of her hard work.”

Raisy has also received multiple awards during her decade of service. The governor’s office says these include the West Virginia Police Canine Association K-9 of the Year (2016-2017), the National Police Bloodhound Association Lifesaving Award (2014), and the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Meritorious Conduct Award (2014).

“Our bloodhounds are naturally-gifted sniffers, but they also go through intense training each year with the West Virginia Police to make sure their tracking skills are certified,” Kelley said. “Because they’re so good at what they do and have some of the best training, the evidence our bloodhounds dig up stands up in courts of law,” Kelly said.

West Virginia Division of Forestry Investigative Unit K-9 Raisy with her partner Don Kelley, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, and Babydog (Photo courtesy: Gov. Jim Justice’s office)

Kelley and fellow investigator John Bird help certify and train the WVDOF’s dogs and handlers and also help train and certify K-9s for other agencies and organizations, Justice’s office says.