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Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources gets new furry officers

Undated photo of DWR conservation officer Joshua Carver and Carlo. (Photo: Joshua Carver, Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources debuted new furry four-legged officers this week, something that they haven’t had since the ’90s.

K-9 Officers Cruz, a 15-month-old black lab, and Carlo, a chocolate lab, are the department’s newest conservation officers, there to help the department find wildlife violators.

The dogs are trained to help find poachers and other evidence that will help their human counterparts cut down on the time they spend searching for things like people, weapons, or shell casings.

“We can use these dogs for trespassing cases because of their tracking ability for human scent,” said wildlife resource officer Matt Burgess, who is Cruz’s handler.

Each of the K-9s has completed a nine-week training course led by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in the Hoosier National Forest.

Cruz will spend his time covering northern Utah, while Carlo will be serving southern Utah. They will also be involved in helping other agencies when needed as well as going to school programs and other community functions.