LOGAN — The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office reported the passing of Bloodhound K-9 Sherman on Friday. He was eight years old.
Sherman passed away peacefully, at home, after a battle with terminal bone cancer. He was surrounded by his handler, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office Detective Trent Woodgeard, and family.
Sherman began his tour of duty and service to Hocking County in 2012 after Detective Woodgeard and Washington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Keelan McLeish purchased him from an owner in Nevada, and trained him for search and rescue efforts.
He continued to go through different types training until the day he passed away.
Woodgeard said that he could not count the number of times that Sherman had found someone whether that be a missing person or the suspect of a crime but there were a couple situations they got called out to that he will never forget.
On June 8, 2015 there was a bank robbery in the Plains at Hocking Valley Bank.
The suspect fled the scene in hopes of getting away with the crime — but he didn’t.
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office reached out to Detective Woodgeard for assistance because they knew he and his reliable K-9 Sherman could help.
“Sherman and I get down there and Sherman tracks a scent of the suspect through the woods and several blocks away to a parking lot where there was an old van,” stated Woodgeard.
Later that day, he received a call from the Athens County Sheriff telling him that the van Sherman sniffed out belonged to the suspect who was soon apprehended after that.
About a year ago, Sherman tracked the scent of an elderly man with dementia who had wandered away from his home on a miserably, cold winter day.
“I got called out there probably around 10 minutes until eight in the morning,” described Woodgeard. “We tracked him for about three miles and found him unconscious. His fingertips had frostbite and he had to be life-flighted out. He survived.”
Only a couple months after joining the Hocking Sheriff’s office, Sherman found his first person, 45-year-old James Marcum laying in the brush behind a fallen tree after he fled from deputies in Haydenville.
At just nine-months-old, Sherman hadn’t fully completed his training, but was successful in locating the missing person Tuesday.
The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office described Sherman as an invaluable asset to their agency and the community and credited him with saving numerous lives throughout his career.
These are just two examples of how important Sherman was to Hocking County and surrounding areas and explains why he will be sorely missed.
Sherman was the first bloodhound that Woodgeard had the opportunity to work with. Woodgeard added that he believes Sherman may be one of the first, if not the first, bloodhound ever to work for the Sheriff’s Office in Hocking County.
Sherman was purchased with grant funding from the Hocking County EMA through the Local Emergency Planning (LEPC) program. Like all of the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Units, he was supported completely through donations from the public.
He was trained well, but Woodgeard said Sherman could be a bit stubborn. Though once he bonded with a person, he became very loyal.
As it became difficult and nearly impossible for Sherman to walk, he still managed to find a way to come to Woodgeard every time he called his name.
Even though Sherman was stationed in Hocking County, he served many parts of Southeastern Ohio from Scioto, Vinton, Athens and Gallia counties to several others in this region.
When Sherman was not busy sniffing out leads, he could be found relaxing around Woodgeard’s home and protecting his family. He once stopped another dog from potentially attacking Woodgeard’s seven-year-old son.
Sherman will be missed, not only by Woodgeard and his family, but by all the men and women of the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office.
“It is going to be a big loss,” explained Woodgeard. “We did not use him everyday but when Sherman was getting deployed, a lot of times, it was a matter of life and death for the people involved. He was a big asset not only to the Hocking County but more or less to Southeastern Ohio.”