CHESTERFIELD, Va. — Chesterfield Police Department rookie, Rudy, doesn't wear a uniform — he wears a harness.
Rudy is a fully-certified K-9 ready to save lives and solve crimes.
CBS 6 first introduced you to Rudy in October 2020, when the young bloodhound was still in training with his handler, Corporal Dan Shuklis.
Over the past year, the pup has honed his skills and received his certification from the Virginia Police Work Dog Association.
He now works five days a week, but when he’s off the job, Rudy wins over everyone he meets.
CBS 6 caught up with Rudy and Corporal Shuklis during a visit to Redeemer Episcopal Day school in Midlothian.
"It's good to acclimate him to everything you can, and he loves kids," said Shuklis.
Rudy’s biggest tool is his nose, and he showed off his skills for the kids.
Shuklis had former Chesterfield firefighter Dave Lipp rub his hands on a gauze pad and then go hide several yards away. Several minutes later, Shuklis had Rudy sniff that same gauze pad, and off they went.
"Rudy, find," Shuklis told the pup.
Within five minutes, Rudy had located Lipp behind a bush near the playground. The children came running behind to reward the special hound with praise for his find.
"Woo!," Shulkis exclaimed. "Good boy, Rudy!"
In training, Shuklis said Rudy gets a Vienna sausage for locating a person or an item.
Shuklis has spent 22 years with Chesterfield Police and always hoped to become a K-9 handler.
"This has been my dream since I started the department," he explained. "And I get to finish out my career when he retires, and it just can't get any better than, you know, ending up your career doing what you always wanted to do."
In the past eight months, Rudy has already helped the department solve several crimes.
"He worked a breaking and entering one time that was three hours old," Shuklis noted. "And then we ended up chasing people out to patrol, and they caught him, and we ended up solving a bunch of other things cases that were involved with those same people."
This pup’s sense of smell is so strong, he can track someone off of a single strand of hair.
“I have really, really high hopes that he's going to be amazing," said Shulkis. "He's already done so much in a few months."
While Rudy’s a professional on the job, he does have his weaknesses.
"We're still working on chickens," Shulkis laughed. "It's amazing how many free-range chickens are around Chesterfield County."
Shuklis hopes to be on the road with Rudy, or as he likes to call him "Rudy Roo, Chucklehead, Goofball" for several more years.
"We're inseparable," he explained.
But for now, if there’s a person to find or a scent to track in Chesterfield County, you can bet Rudy is on the way.
Shuklis wants to remind people if you have a missing loved one, be sure to call police right away because he said the fresher the scent, the easier and more likely it is for bloodhounds like Rudy to track them down.
Rudy’s sister Mazie is also on the Chesterfield force. They are expected to work five to seven years.