KOKOMO — Kokomo Boy Scout Ezra Spencer outdid himself on the way to earning the Eagle Scout Award.
Requirements for reaching scouting's highest rank include a community service project. Spencer designed and supervised the building of a K-9 agility course now available to police and firefighters in the training of their dogs.
It's located at the Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, outside Brazil in Clay County.
Spencer spoke with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which trains at the Youth Ranch property, and the K-9 agility course idea was born.
The features include:
- Elevated Dog Walk: Teaches canines how to place their footing and build confidence on unstable surfaces.
- Bark Barrels: Three barrels which trains dogs to give their handlers their indications, even if they cannot see or access the subject—the sort of thing that might happen in a building collapse.
- Bark Boxes: These three boxes allows better control by the instructor as to when a dog-in-training is rewarded.
- Tunnel: Teachers dogs to go through tight spaces.
"Ezra came to us with great ideas, energy and resources to meet one of our wants and needs," said Jeff Groh, Deputy Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. "We were impressed with his enthusiasm, understanding, helpfulness and leadership."