Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis has welcomed a new deputy to the force -- one with big brown eyes and bushy tail.
Topper, a 19-month-old German shepherd, will be partnered with Deputy Brandon Cox, who recently lost his previous canine partner Ike to illness.
Topper was born in the Netherlands and sent to Southern Coast K-9 in New Smyrna Beach. The $8,500 for Topper was donated to the sheriff's office by an anonymous resident in memory of a sibling, G. Moran.
Cox and Topper will be attending K-9 Patrol School within the next several weeks for training, then will seek state certification from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.