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K9 Mishka – Burlington, North Carolina

Died – 1/10/18
Handler – Sgt. Richard Marsh

Beloved Burlington Police K-9 ‘Mishka’ Who Saved Officer’s Life, Dies Of Cancer

A beloved K-9 officer, named Mishka, has died from cancer. The Burlington Police Department posted on its Facebook page, “She passed Wednesday evening at 5:45 PM after a long battle with cancer. We would like to thank Sgt. Richard Marsh and his family for dedicating so much of their life with her. Rest Easy Mishka. 2005-2018.” “If she hadn’t had been there maybe it would be a different story. I wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Marsh. WFMY News 2 first met Mishka in 2016. That’s when we discovered Mishka was on a journey to check off her own “bucket list.” In May of 2016, Mishka was diagnosed with cancer and given only months to live. Wanting to make the most of their moments left with Mishka — Marsh and his wife created a bucket list. “I figured that would be the first thing I give her, is a burger and a bag of French fries,” said Marsh. The family has also took Mishka on their vacations. During Mishka’s career with the Burlington Police Department, she helped make more than 150 arrests. She also won awards at police dog competitions.

Submitted By Jim Cortina

James A. Cortina has been involved with police dogs since 1972 and currently on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Jim has been appointed as Treasurer since its inception in 1991. Jim is one of the charter members of the C.P.W.D.A. organization. Since 1975 he has been a certified professional dog trainer and received his Master Trainer Certification in 1985. During his career he has provided armed K-9 strike crowd control for security agencies in Connecticut and out of state security companies. In conjunction with other members of the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Board of Directors, he helped to draft Connecticut Statute 53-247(e) "Intentional Injury or Killing of Police K-9" which was passed by the Senate in 1993 and also assisted in implementing the prestigious Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award in 1992. In 1993 he helped coordinate the North American Police Work Dog Association Nationals in New London, Connecticut. He was appointed Training Director for the New London County Work Dog Association from 1985-1987. He performed decoy work for Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. in police K-9 demonstrations, trained several local police department canines, and coordinated training workshops for out-of-state police departments. He participated in the United States Police K-9 Association Trials in Croton on Hudson, New York in 1985 as a decoy. He is an avid photographer and received photography awards in 1989, 1990, and 1991 and currently takes photographs for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc.