After 6 years of service, the Hubbard Police Department's K-9 Zafa is retiring from the department

COURTESY OF HUBBARD POLICE - Zafa, a 7-year old female Belgian Malinois, has been the city of Hubbard Police K9 for 6 years, working with officer Glen Bentley. The old rule-of-thumb calculation for dog years has been 1 human year equals 7 dog years.

While many argue the nuances of that – depends on the dog's breed, size,care, etc. – the old rule works about spot on for Zafa, Hubbard Police Department's K-9. More accurately, Zafa is Hubbard Police Department's former K-9.

Hubbard Police Chief Dave Rash announced that after serving on the force for 6 years, Zafa officially retired on August 19. Now, by the old rule-of-thumb calculation, that's 42 years of service, and reportedly its been stellar service leading to a well-deserved retirement.

Zafa, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, was originally purchased by the department with grant money from the K9s4COPS program. She was a year old at the time and had been trained by the Houston K9 Academy.

But the Hubbard K9 story reaches back a little farther – about 10 human years.

"In 2009, Officer Glen Bentley took the initiative to research and implement a police canine program for the Hubbard Police Department and our community," Rash said. "The benefits of such a program are well recognized, from apprehending suspects of criminal activity, searching for articles used in a crime, and assisting search and rescue in lost person or child situations."

Hubbard adopted the program and Bentley was selected as the handler. He was the right choice, given that he was instrumental in the process of developing it.

Bentley subsequently completed a rigorous required training program for police canine handling. One-year-old Zafa became the third canine assigned to Bentley in 2013.

"They worked together as a team, with Zafa providing dedicated service for over 6 years to our police department and community," Rash said. "She provided community outreach and was at Officer Bentley's side ready for action whenever he was on duty.

"The citizens of our community adore her."

Zafa's impact extended beyond Hubbard's border as at times several other agencies in the region would call upon her for help when they needed K9 services.

The community of Hubbard's adoration came to a highly-visible crescendo earlier this summer when Zafa was named as the Grand Marshal of the Hubbard Hop Festival parade.

"Everyone will be happy to know the time has come for her to enjoy her golden years in relaxation," Rash assured.

Those years will be spent with Bentley and his family, so it's a given Zafa will be in warm, familiar environs for retirement as well.

Rash said at this time there are no plans to replace the K9 program. Bentley, who has been a K9 officer with the department for 10 years, will continue to work in the department as an officer.

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