Pasco County's newest K9 is Hela, a golden retriever

Pasco County has a new K9 deputy -- and she's a golden retriever.

Hela is is the first of her kind for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. She is Corporal John Rux’s fourth police dog, and has been with the agency for about three months. 

Rux and his furry partner visited Good Day Tampa Bay on Thursday morning. He said her temperament differs from a German shepherd in that she is methodical, but very pleasing. Her sole job is to detect narcotics.

“The golden retriever is the fourth smartest breed of a K9,” he said. “Her hunt-drive is just off the charts. We gave it a shot and we’ve been pretty successful so far.”

Hela is originally from Colombia, but now lives with Deputy Rux, and retired K9 Thor. 

“When I’m walking out the door, I’m pushing him with my foot," Rux explained when he heads to work in the morning. "As I’m trying to get (Hela) out through the front door, he is trying to come out the front door. The drive to go to work after 9.5 years of doing it doesn’t go away.”

Rux said Hela just wrapped up her eight weeks in drug school, and soon after, had her first success on the job. 

“She hit on 3.5 pounds of marijuana being shipped to a residence with street value of approximately $10,000,” Rux said. “She started off her career pretty well.”