Zionsville Police Dept. to add K-9 officer


By Heather Lusk

The Zionsville Police Dept.’s K-9 unit will soon have a new team member.

Officer Jacob Shelborne, who has been a full-time employee with the department for two years, will select a K-9 at Vohne Liche Kennels Sept. 19 to become part of the local police force.


Other ZPD canines also have been trained at Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., which is renowned in the Midwest for supplying military and police dogs.

“Vohne Liche is so highly recommended. We know their quality work. They’re pretty close to home,” ZPD Chief Robert Knox said. “They’re world-renowned, world-class.”

Shelborne will spend six weeks at Vohne Liche to train and become better acquainted with his dog. The training will cover detection, bite work and search and tracking.

It’s always been a dream of Shelborne’s to be part of the K-9 unit. He grew up on a farm and has always loved animals.

“The first objective was to be a police officer, and the second objective was to be a K-9 handler,” Shelborne said. “I’m very happy to reach my goal.”

The new canine will replace Eso, a 7-year-old Czechoslovakian shepherd who retired in June for health reasons. Jelka, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, will continue to be part of the K-9 division after recovering from a vehicle accident in May. Jelka recently returned to full duty status and completed her rehabilitation.

Although Knox would like to see a canine for all three shifts, he’s grateful that community support sparked interest in the program that recently became funded by the town.

“I think we’re very blessed and fortunate to have even one (dog),” Knox said.