Veteran Northern California Forest Service K9 Celebrates Retirement

K9 Jasper and Patrol Captain Harris. Photo: US Forest Service

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Law Enforcement and Investigations is celebrating the retirement of K9 Jasper. Jasper is a purebred German Shepherd and is nine years old, or about 61 in dog years, and has served the Forest Service and public since 2011.  Jasper was certified in patrol, tracking and narcotics detection.

“I am absolutely honored that I was afforded the opportunity to work with an amazing dog,” said Patrol Captain Carson Harris. “It is with great pride and sadness that I made the request to retire Jasper, but I believe that it is in the best interest of the agency and Jasper.”

Jasper worked with Harris side-by-side for nine years.  Jasper trained for his duties over the course of many weeks and underwent yearly certification for tracking and narcotics.  He faithfully obeyed his handler and served the agency by apprehending physically six suspects, having 11 surrender, and assisting his handler with the arrests of 47 suspects as it relates to his free air sniffs which resulted in locating narcotics.  Over his long career, Jasper seized thousands of pounds of narcotics and has located over one million dollars in drug-related proceeds, which were turned over to our local cooperating agencies.

Harris said there were several times that Jasper even helped save his life.  On one occasion Harris and Jasper were alone and Jasper helped hold down and apprehend a suspect.  Jasper was also present the day that his fellow K9 Ice was injured by a suspect in an illegal marijuana grow on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in July 2016.  Jasper helped apprehend the suspects, and once Ice recovered, the two dogs were able to work side-by-side once again.

There is no set age for K9 retirement and it is based on the dog and agency guidelines.  Jasper was not injured, and he worked up until the day he retired.  His last large day on the Forest at the end of March ended with an arrest and a seizure of 110 pounds of concentrated cannabis and fifteen thousand dollars in drug proceeds.

“I am humbled to have Jasper allowed to live out his days in my yard where he can relax and reminisce about his contribution to the great history of our K9 program,” said Harris.

If you would like to send Jasper a note thanking him for his service and good wishes for his well-deserved retirement, please visit and comment on the post about Jasper.  Or you can write to K9 Jasper c/o Shasta-Trinity National Forest, 3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding, CA 96002.

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