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Police dog Timber ‘retires’ with Gentry family

Timber has ‘retired’ from Madison Police Department. Fortunately, he has a good home with his ‘partner’ Officer Josh Gentry.

At a veterinarian’s recommendation, Timber will no longer work in the K-9 unit because of a hip abnormality. “But he will be fine,” Gentry said.

Madison Police Department received Timber from a facility in Kentucky about four years ago. “Timber came from Germany from the Slavics. He wasn’t trained when we got him,” Gentry said. Timber trained in Huntsville with Gentry for 13 weeks.

Since then, Timber has remained with the officer each day. “Officers are actually with the dogs more than our families — eight to 12 hours a day,” he said. Gentry has worked as a Madison policeman for six years, now working third shift patrol.

Timber remains fairly aggressive with everyone — except the Gentry family. “He is not a people person,” Gentry said. Seven-year-old Timber weighs close to 85 pounds.

When not ‘on the job,’ a police dog stays at their officer’s home. Like the K-9 unit, “Timber is a one-person dog,” Gentry said.

Police dogs help officers on patrol. If a suspect is hiding in a building, Timber will track the person. “Timber knows when to bite and when not to. He will defend me,” Gentry said. “He has developed a sense to know when I need some assistance.”

“Timber sniffs out drugs,” Gentry said. Dogs like Timber assist police departments in numerous searches for narcotics in North Alabama. “The dogs can smell marijuana, crack, heroin, methamphetamine (meth) and cocaine” and detect THC or any of its derivatives, Gentry said.

Gentry and Timber were involved in what “USA Today” reported as the “biggest pill bust for ice in North Alabama.”

Timber has settled in well at the Gentry home. “No one else could have taken him any way,” he said.

The Gentrys live in East Limestone. His wife Dawn is a stay-at-home mom and works for a direct sell company. Their daughter Marysa is four years old and baby Justice is four months.

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