EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — It’s a relationship built on love and the law. A Mercer County police officer and her K9 partner are tearing it up as a team, whether they’re busting big-time drug dealers or dazzling thousands on social media.
At just 2 years old, Ewing Township K9 Officer Jax and his handler 27-year-old Brittney Fornarotto already have one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history on their résumé: the billion-dollar cocaine seizure at the Port of Philadelphia in June.
They’ve only been partners a year-and-a-half, but it’s easy to see they’re already a dynamic duo.
Their special bond makes Jax good at his job and has helped them become stars on social media.
Whether at home or at work, Fornarotto documents her days with Jax on Instagram, where they now have more than 15,000 followers.
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When moms away, I’m at play! Pool party, who is down?! Where my buddies at: @k9mackey @k9jester @rbpd_k9_eko @k9_goose @sppdk9django @k9taze @k9_max36 @ranger_the_dutchie. @k9_hooks @k9_rizzo @eskimo_servicedog @k9_axe ! I’m sure @greenleafpetresort & @amberlinnaaa won’t mind!? Can we please have a party? 🎉 #babyshark #poolparty #summervibes #friendsarewelcome #puppyparty #checkoutthatjump #cannonball #bestfriends #k9 #police #saturdaysarefortheboys #thinblueline #maligator #landshark
“It blew up quickly and I was never wanting [it to],” she said, “but I saw the good in the bigger picture of the K9 world on Instagram.”
Through silly, adorable or looking tough photos, Jax and Fornarotto have become ambassadors for police K9s, the Ewing Township Police Department and female cops.
“Obviously there are not many female K9 handlers,” she said. “I’m the only one in Ewing as of now, but when people can recognize us and want to get to know us and ask questions and we can build a relationship with the community, to me that’s why I did that.”
While they both have a playful side, make no mistake, they’re dead serious about police work.
While Jax can bark, bite and sniff out drugs on command, Fornarotto is still working on one more command to help with social media — smile for the camera.
Fornarotto has started what she’s calling a “Paw Up” campaign, where you have your dog give you a high five or show whatever motivates you like she motivates Jax every day.