Sept. 1 marked the arrival of two new members to the Sistersville Police Department. Patrolman Mike Owens joined the force, bringing with him his faithful canine comrade Anja, a six-year-old Belgian/German Shepherd.
Anja lives with and is owned by Owens. The two have worked together for three years, formerly as a part of the Paden City Police Department.
Anja's accomplishments throughout the region include several large drug busts, in which a total of 198 stamps of heroin and one-half pound of marijuana were seized.
Patrolman Mike Owens poses outside of the city building with his canine partner Anja.
She has also made several smaller busts. In addition to her service in Sistersville and Paden City, she has worked with New Martinsville Police Department, Tyler County Sheriff's Office, and other departments in the tracking of missing persons and fleeing subjects.
Anja was trained by Tracy Landis, owner of Ultimate Working Dogs in St. Albans, W.Va., where she returns annually for re-certification.
Owens described working with Anja as a rewarding experience.