The puppies, nine boys and two girls, are just a week old and could fit in the palm of a hand.
Their eyes remained shut as of Wednesday morning as they squealed and whimpered (as puppies do) with Copper standing nearby.
Robert Lenzo with the SRCSO K9 unit explains how these pups will be trained to be just like mom.
“Right now, the intent is we’re going to keep one that we’re going to raise up into our tracking program,” said Lenzo.
The rest of the puppies, Lenzo said, will go through preliminary training with the sheriff’s office, before being donated to other law enforcement agencies as a tracking dogs.
Lenzo said bloodhounds are known for their good sense of smell, which comes in handy when fighting crime and tracking down missing people.
“These dogs — their instincts are to use their nose for smell and really the only thing we do for them is train them what to use that smell for,” Lenzo said.
Before mom duty, Copper served as the primary tracking K-9 at the SRCSO and has found criminals and helped saved lives.
“In 2019, she found an autistic boy in Pace and without her, he probably would have been in pretty big trouble back in the woods where we found him,” Lenzo said.
The SRCSO says if Copper’s puppies are anything like their mom, wherever they go, their agencies will be in a good shape.
“She is a wonderful mom. We have been so proud,” Lenzo said. “This is her first litter. She knows instinctively how to take care of those babies. She’s doing an outstanding job with them.”
A decision will be made at a later time on where exactly the puppies will go.
The SRCSO says in the near future, it could ask for the public’s help in naming the puppy they keep.