Born October 1, 2003 in Swansea, Wales, U.K., Ralph was bred specifically for his nose and drive.
Ralph was purchased the Summer of 2005 from Tar Heel Kennels in North Carolina, for $6000. This included three weeks of handler training. The funds were raised from donations from private individuals and groups like the LIONS Club. All of the dogs expenses, vet bills, etc, are paid for through the DARE Program, which relies on fundraisers and donations.
Officer Carpenter joined Ralph for the last three weeks of Ralph's 11 week training program. He and Ralph travel back to North Carolina each Summer for re-certification. The pair have now also been certified in "urban tracking" and can be used to locate missing persons and suspects.
Patrolman Carpenter and his partner are assigned primarily to the Granby Jr/Sr High School, where Ptl Carpenter is the School Resource officer. In his first year at the School Ralph alerted on 24 occasions, three at Granby High, two at Holyoke Catholic High (then located in Granby) and one at the Belchertown Middle school. In the words of the students, they got "Ralphed"! Since that time drug possession at Granby HS is virtually non-existent. This makes the program an overwhelming success, as our goal is deterrence and prevention.
Ptl Carpenter also patrols with Ralph. Together they have made over 100 alerts resulting in the seizure of Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana and pharmaceuticals. The seizures have been made at car stops, during the execution of search warrants, and while searching schools and parking lots.
In the Fall of 2008, donations from the Florence Savings Bank, Waste Management, and Pleasant Street Autobody allowed the Department to convert cruiser to a dedicated K-9 vehicle. The back seat has a slide in unit that is much safer and more comfortable for the dog.
Ralph's comes from a "working dog" family. His father is assigned to the Baghdad airport and is used as an explosive detector dog - his “brother” is working in Florida at an airport- his first week on the job he detected an RPG, and recently Ralph's "first born" has been trained and is working at the Hampshire County House of Correction in Northampton. Ralph regularly gave demonstrations to school and civic groups, at the reserve Police Academy, and at local colleges. Ralph was supported entirely by donations. On May 24, 2013 Ralph retired from the Police Department and is enjoying his retirement as Officer Carpenter's household pet.
Have you been "Ralphed"?