RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As a puppy, Duke was rescued from a dog fighting ring in Richmond, Virginia.

Since that time, Duke has found his way into a new job and new life as a law enforcement canine alongside his handler, Trooper T.C. Parrott.

Trooper Parrott told CBS 17 a little more about Duke’s backstory.

From the dog fighting ring he was rescued from, Duke went on to Caroline County, Virginia where he made an impact in showing his very high drive for playing with toys. This led to giving him a spot in K9 school where he graduated as a narcotic and tracking K9. He went on to serve alongside officers in Carolina County from 2017 to 2021.

After four years of service, Duke needed to be relocated. As Trooper Parrott described, marijuana is one of the odors Duke is certified to detect. Due to a change in Virginia’s marijuana laws, Duke could no longer be used in that area of the state.

“Caroline County then reached out looking for an agency that could use Duke so he could continue working and doing what he loves,” said Parrott. That’s how Duke found his way and joined the ranks of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, which Parrott said is lucky to have gotten the opportunity.

K9 Duke and Trooper Parrott then went through a 13-week K9 handler school where they each had to pass certifications to be able to be a working K-9 unit in North Carolina. On June 17, the duo successfully completed their certification test and K9 Duke is now a certified NCSHP K9.

Parrott said Duke is estimated to be about five-and-a-half years old now and has been assigned to the eastern part of North Carolina and also covers some regions in South Carolina and Virginia.

“Duke will be utilized as a narcotic K9 mainly focusing on the interstates and US highways, for example like the 95 and 85 corridor,” said Trooper Parrott.

Together, Parrott and Duke are “working together to help keep our state safe,” NC Highway Patrol said in a Tuesday tweet.