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Bowl-A-Thon benefits bloodhounds

Mar. 04, 2013 @ 06:40 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The guest of honor at Colonial Lanes bowling alley Sunday afternoon sat and observed the action quietly from his kennel in the back.

The place was packed Sunday for the Barboursville Bloodhounds No-Tap Handicap Bowling Tournament and Bowl-A-Thon -- all an effort to support Gus, a police bloodhound who teams up with Officer Tim Corbett to form the K-9 unit of the Barboursville Police Department.

The soft-furred, brown-eyed dog was rescued a few years back in Elizabeth, Pa. After four months of training, they began the Barboursville Police Bloodhound program.

He's not used for tracking drugs -- just human scent.

"Man-trailing," Corbett said. "I give him a scented article, and he follows the scent. He does one thing, and he does it very well. He's been used 50 times in the past 3 1/2 years."

When he's not tracking, he follows Corbett on the job.

"If I'm working, he's working with me," he said. "If I'm at home resting, he's resting."

The bowl-a-thon helps raise money to supplement funds that come through the Village of Barboursville, Corbett said. Usually the program requires an additional $2,000 to $3,000 for ongoing training, supplies, equipment, food, treats and more.

He's a great dog, said community members who showed up for the event Sunday.

Gus and Corbett stop into Rod Warden's business, Willie's Lounge, regularly.

"They come in and make sure we're doing OK. We give him water in a little bowl we keep behind the counter," Warden said.

Amy Neighborgall, owner of the bowling alley, said that anytime her business can do something to help support police and fire departments, they're excited to participate.

"It's an awesome cause," she said. "We're huge animal lovers, and (Gus) is so sweet. He licked me on the nose."

Sponsors for the event include Eagle Distributing, Atomic Distributing, King Spirits, Colonial Lanes, Willie's Lounge and Walmart.

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