GREAT BEND — The Barton County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it added a second K9 and a dog handler to the agency, using seized drug assets to buy the dog and to train the pair.

Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Katzenmeier is assigned the duty of K9 handler with his new partner Maxx, an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois imported from Poland, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said in a news release.

The pair will work in the department’s patrol division.

Katzenmeier and Maxx attended training in Little Rock, Ark., achieving certification in drug detection, tracking, item searches and patrol work.

Total costs for training and equipment was about $12,000, Bellendir said, but seized money and other assets covered the cost from drug dealers, which goes into a special account for use on non-budgeted items.

“In essence, local drug dealers paid for our K9,” Bellendir said.

In addition to Maxx, Detective Adam Hales still maintains Kia (pronounced "Ki" ) as a working drug detection dog.

“This arrangement allows for more coverage and dogs being assigned to two different divisions of the Sheriff’s Office,” Bellendir said.