Sheriff's K-9 Betti Retires
updated: Jun 17, 2014, 3:05 PM
Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office
After eight years of fighting crime and helping to save lives in Santa Barbara
County, ten-year-old Sheriff's K-9 Betti is officially retired. At the Santa
Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting this morning Betti, alongside her
handler Sheriff's Deputy Mike McNeil, received a "Resolution of Commendation."
The honor, given by the Board of Supervisors, recognized Betti for her
outstanding performance and dedicated service to Santa Barbara County. In
addition to the award, Betti received a large round of applause from the
audience followed by a photo session with the media.
During her career, Betti is credited with physically apprehending more than
thirty suspects including violent felons, arsonists, burglars, child molesters
and drug related offenders. One of Betti's most memorable achievements was in
2009, when she located several types of illegal narcotics including more than
300 tablets of ecstasy in Orcutt. On another occasion in June of 2007, she was
responsible for tracking down a Goleta man who had sexually assaulted an eight-
year-old girl at Girsh Park.
Betti has also assisted on numerous searches for evidence and lost or missing
people. She has been involved in a large number of building searches, alarm
calls and deputy protection during major disturbances. In addition to all of
her crime fighting accomplishments, Betti has participated in a wide range of
exhibitions for thousands of people including civic groups and clubs, private
organizations, youth groups and more than fifty schools.
Betti, whose full name is Betti Blue Van Haus Pe-ja, was born in Germany. She
came to the United States in 2005 and attended training at the Inglis Police Dog
Academy in Ventura County. She was purchased by the Santa Barbara County
Sheriff's Office and became the first and only female K-9 to work for the
agency. Betti and Deputy McNeil completed the law enforcement patrol course,
narcotics detection course and hard-surface tracking course, all of which need
to be re-certified each year.
Betti was paired up to work and live with Sheriff's Deputy McNeil and his family
where she will continue to live during her retirement. Upon being asked about
what he will miss most about working with Betti, Deputy McNeil said, "Betti had
an incredible attention to detail and focus. She gave 100% to everything she
did. She was a community dog. She could go from being with a room full of
second graders one moment to chasing after and apprehending a bad guy the next
Deputy McNeil recently received a new K-9 partner, Magnum, who also has joined
his family. Magnum is from Ventura County and attended the same school as
Betti. Magnum is certified in patrol, narcotics and tracking. Upon being asked
about what he thinks of Magnum so far, Deputy McNeil said, "I can already tell
Magnum has great skills and even though he has big paws to fill, he will have an
The estimated cost for purchasing and training a law enforcement K-9 is $21,500.
Betti was purchased for the Sheriff's Office by generous public donations and
National Police Dog Foundation grant funding. Magnum was purchased entirely by
public donations. If you are interested in helping the Sheriff's Office fund
our K-9 units, please contact Lt. Arnoldi with the Sheriff's Office at (805)
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The new Sheriff’s K-9 photo Magnum from today and one of when he was first purchased.
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