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K9 Zar – St. Louis County, Missouri

Died – 8/23/16
Handler – Officer Scott Scarborough

St. Louis County police dog dies from cancer

St. Louis County Police are mourning the death of one of their own, Canine Officer Zar. Zar began working with the St. Louis County Police Department in 2008 when Officer Scott Scarborough selected him and the two went through the Police Canine Academy. He was diagnosed with cancer and internal bleeding before being euthanized Tuesday. According to a press release from the St. Louis County Police Department, Zar’s partner, Officer Scott Scarborough, was having trouble walking. Zar was taken to the vet, where it was discovered he was suffering from cancer throughout his body and that a tumor ruptured his spleen, causing internal bleeding. The vet told Scarborough that Zar would have a low quality of life and high severity of pain, so Scarborough made the decision for him to be euthanized. Zar received numerous commendations and awards during his career. The press release said he and Scarborough were responsible for “countless” seizures of drugs and weapons.

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.