Rescue dogs head to Dollywood to protect thrillseekers

Gavin Hepworth with his team and the K9s heading to Dollywood
Gavin Hepworth with his team and the K9s heading to Dollywood
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Four rescue dogs will soon be working from ‘K9 to five’ at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park to keep visitors safe.

Harry, Mitch, Chip and Blaze have been highly trained by Gavin Hepworth to sniff out explosives or other security threats posed to people.

Mr Hepworth, who works for Fencebridge Security, took on the dogs from owners in Wakefield who could not cope with the animals anymore.

The firm offers protection, security and dogs, to some of most well known and wealthiest people in the world.

Mr Hepworth, 55, said: “With all terror attacks and security threats lately Dollywood asked me to supply them with the dogs.

“The dogs were selected locally and I trained them.

“Once they’re fully trained they hit the streets protecting the public from threats.

“In this case the four that I have got at the moment have completed their training and will be protecting people in Dollywood.

“The dogs that I train go on to protect the public at all kinds of places and events from festivals to airports.”

Fencebridge has a head office in Nashville, Tennessee, which is also the home of Dollywood Family Amusement Pa rk, part owned by superstar singer Dolly Parton.

The security firm also has ‘associate facilities’ based here in Wakefield.

Mr Hepworth, of Wakefield said that these dogs have been highly trained - in what he said was the most dangerous job for a canine.

He said: “The dogs go through training to sniff out explosives of all kinds on humans. And then they pin point the explosives while the human officers detain them or call for reinforcement.”

On the security firm’s website its says that they offer their services to law enforcement, military and high risk security professionals from U.S. and Multi National Forces.

In their announcement about moving to Yorkshire they said they offer protection to government agencies and ‘high net worth clients’.

As well as protecting people at theme parks, the Wakefield trained dogs are also used at major ports and airports as well as large scale events such as the Super Bowl.

Dollywood, is located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains metroplex in Pigeon Forge, became a theme park in 1980 with more than 100 million dollars on the expanding it during the years.