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K9 Sari – Monroe County, Illinois

Died 7/20/15
Handler – Lt. Jim Lansing

Monroe County Police K-9 ‘Sari’ Dies

The heroes of law enforcement come in all shapes and sizes, from the men and women in uniform to the K-9 dogs who serve alongside them. But whether they have two legs or four, they all work toward one goal – to protect and serve the people of their communities. Sari passed away after a shift July 20, working with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. She was alongside her faithful companion, Lt. Jim Lansing. The team worked together the past 10 years. Though she was only 13, Sari was a beloved member of the community, known by young and old as a protector of the citizens of Monroe County, Ill. She was scheduled to retire on Aug. 1. Funeral arrangements are pending. Lansing is planning a memorial service for Sari at Immaculate Conception Church in Columbia. Born on Oct. 9, 2002 in Budapest, Hungary, Sari responded to commands in her native “tongue” of Hungarian. She spent her “puphood” as a family dog in Hungary before she came to the United States on April 5, 2005. She trained at the Rudy Drexler School for Dogs in Elkhart, Ind., where she met Lansing, the Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy who would become her partner. At Drexler, Sari received extensive training in handler protection, narcotics, tracking, obedience and building searching. Together, Sari and Lansing earned their K-9 certification there on July 29, 2005.

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.