LUDINGTON — The Mason County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 team of Sgt. John Mendham and his dog, Rex, recently received a citation for their work in the apprehension of two criminals involved for larceny of a building, a vehicle and for arson.
The 9-year-old German Shepard and Mendham, helped apprehend Marshall Jennings Brault and Travis Malone, following the Oct. 21 breaking and entering of the Wishing Well convenience store near Bass Lake.
Both have been charged in Oceana County for the larceny of the building. Brault has also been charged in Mason County for the arson of a house at the corner of Court and William streets.
Malone is also a suspect in that case; they are also both suspects for unlawfully driving away a vehicle.
The citation comes from the United Staes K-9 Association.
“Canine Rex led officers to a heavily wooded area where the suspect was taken into custody and evidence was recovered,” the citation reads. “After barricading himself the second suspect was taken into custody with canine Rex’s assistance.”
“This dog has been responsible for a lot of good apprehensions,” Sheriff Kim Cole said. “The K-9 unit is extremely valuable to our department.”
Mendham has been Rex’s handler since the dog was 1-year-old. He is owned by the county but lives with the Mendham family.
Mendham is currently training a new dog, Cash. He anticipates that Cash will soon be taking Rex’s place.
“Rex is having a hard time getting in and out of my vehicle,” he said. “He’s getting tired and it’s time for him to take it easy.”
However, it’s difficult for a work dog to just retire, Mendham said. Even when Cash is fully trained Mendham said he will use Rex as often as the dog would like to go on duty.
Mendham is a certified K-9 dog trainer. He assists other local law enforcement agencies and also trains dogs internationally.