Pepper, Idaho Fish and Game’s first K-9 officer, retires after 11 years of service

K-9 officer Pepper retires after 11 years of service
Terry Thompson/Idaho Fish and Game

Twin Falls, Idaho — After 11 years of service, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s first K-9 officer dog is retiring.

Pepper, a black lab, stood by Senior Conservation Officer Jim Stirling for over a decade in Twin Falls. Pepper’s skills as a K-9 included tracking people and searching for items with a human scent, firearms, gunpowder and keeping an eye on the wildlife in the area.

“Working with Pepper has been an amazing experience to me both personally and professionally” stated conservation officer Stirling, “I’m very proud of the work that Pepper accomplished from tracking small children who were lost, to finding evidence that was critical to identifying offenders.”

Stirling made the K-9 program to help provoke the need for K-9 dogs in the Idaho Fish and Game environment. Along with enforcement purposes, Pepper provided opportunities for people to learn about K-9s, also providing outreach opportunities to people.

Three other K-9 officers are in Idaho. Stirling said he has been working to start training with a new partner.