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KCSO launches ‘Name our New Kershaw County K9’

Posted: February 9, 2017 5:19 p.m.
Updated: February 10, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Martin L. Cahn/C-I

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Deputy Justin Spivey with the office’s latest K9 unit, a female 13-month-old yet-to-be named black lab at KCSO headquarters Tuesday afternoon. The KCSO is sponsoring a contest open to all elementary school-age students in the county to name the dog. The deadline to participate is Feb. 16.

The 13-month-old female black lab got on her hind legs to jump up to Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Deputy Justin Spivey’s chest. She was excited and playful, as she and Spivey waited for Sheriff Jim Matthews to speak to a few people on Tuesday about finding a name for the KCSO’s newest K9 unit. His plan is to have elementary school students -- whether in public, private or home schools -- help name the dog.

“Last year, our previous K9 was suffering from an ailment and had to be put down,” Matthews said, referring to Mali who contracted a rare disease. “The response was overwhelming. People donated $5 and $10 to $1,000 through the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Foundation to help us purchase a new dog. What better way to name her than with the help of the community’s children.”

In a press release the previous day, Matthews said K9s are highly trained and expensive law enforcement assets. Matthews used social media and asked the public to donate money to help buy a replacement. Donors could gave through the foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In less than a month, supporters donated more than $8,000 allowing the KCSO to order the new dog. Deputy Spivey picked up his new “partner” the week of Jan. 16.

“She’s turning out to be a fantastic dog. She won’t just be a drug detection dog, but a tracking dog, too, so we’re getting a better bargain than we thought we were paying for,” Matthews said.

“Name our New Kershaw County K9” will run through Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, when a winner will be announced during a surprise visit of the K9 to the winner’s classroom. The KCSO is working with the Kershaw County School District (KCSD) to help spread the word.

“It’s a good thing for the community and she’ll, ultimately, be working in the schools for drug detection,” Matthews said. “We have a great community and the people in this county really step up to donate for things through the foundation.”

He said a citizens committee will meet on Feb. 20. While students and the name they suggest will be identified to the committee, their schools won’t be.

“That’s so there’s no bias,” Matthews said.

He said the idea is for students, especially little kids, to have a positive relationship with deputies and others in law enforcement.

“She’s not a bite dog,” Matthews said. “We don’t want kids to be afraid of the dog.”

A video of Deputy Spivey and the new K9 can been viewed at

How to participate

In writing, students should suggest a name for our new K9 and why that name was chosen. 

• Please include the student’s name, a contact phone number and where he or she attends school (whether public school, private school, home school, etc.).

• Suggestions may be emailed to the Sheriff’s Foundation at or mailed to the Foundation at P.O. Box 664, Camden, SC 29021. 

• The deadline to participate is Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5 p.m. 

• A special community committee will select the winning entry, and the winner will be notified the week of Feb. 20. 

• The winner will be photographed with the KCSO K9, and the photograph will be shared online and via the media.



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