Koda Chronicles: New GVPD canine arrives in West Michigan, settles into new home

Officer Kelsey Sietsema and Koda, a black lab.
GVPD officer Kelsey Sietsema and Koda.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

In early June, we introduced the newest member of the Grand Valley Police Department — Koda, a K-9 explosives dog

Koda will attend gatherings like football games, special events and large-scale student life events, offering additional safety mitigation measures for GVSU campuses, and allowing for greater connection, engagement and relationships with the campus community.

Officer Kelsey Sietsema and Koda, a black lab.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

Koda, a 2-year-old black lab, is now in West Michigan after completing six weeks of training in Alabama through Vapor Wake Canine company.

Koda lives with her partner on the force, Kelsey Sietsema, GVPD canine and community police officer. Sietsema and Koda bonded during training and now the lab is adjusting to her new home life.

“Koda feels very comfortable in the house,” said Sietsema. “She is still getting used to my two cats, Charlie and Simba. Koda gets a little excited sometimes and just wants to play with them, but I’m very hopeful they will all be friends. Koda has even been caught drinking out of the cat's water bowl, probably just trying to fit in.”

Sietsema said along with taking the dog for daily walks, she grooms her each day and and runs through a standard health checklist.

“After breakfast, we go outside so I can groom her and check her mouth, teeth, eyes, ears and pads,” Sietsema explained. “After that, it’s just going about the day. She’s been on a few different adventures in my personal truck and has done a great job so far!”

Koda, a black lab, pulls on a rope held by officer Kelsey Sietsema.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

When working on something or just watching TV, Sietsema said lab stays by her side. “The second I get up, she follows me through the house; Koda likes to stay close,” she said.

Look for the next Koda Chronicles installment in early August when Koda is on campus to meet President Philomena V. Mantella.

Koda, a black lab, and officer Kelsey Sietsema in the kitchen.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills