Memorials to Fallen K-9s  
 2001 page 14 
Gone, but never forgotten 
F.A.S.T. Co. donates cards to all partners  
of all working dogs/horses as long as their is an address. 
PLEASE feel free to send condolences to officers with P.D. addresses below.......Please
In Loving Memory of 
April, 1998- September 14, 2001 
Partner: Officer Todd Haller 
Terre Haute Police Dept. IN 
  17 Harding Avenue - Terra Haute, IN 47807-  
General business THPolice@aol.com 
Remembering Nero: 
Terre Haute Police Officer Todd Haller receives a hug from a fellow officer after a memorial service for Haller's K-9 police dog, Nero, Tuesday at Terre Haute City Court. The duo was a recipient of many police team honor.
K-9 Nero died at the age of 3, medical reasons. He will be missed by everyone in the department.   K-9 commemoration  
Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza  By Karin Grunden 9-19-01 
As a recording of "Taps" played overhead Tuesday in Terre Haute City Court, a police honor guard saluted during a memorial service for one of their own. Soon, one by one, fellow members of the city police department offered their condolences to a teary eyed Officer Todd Haller, whose partner of two years died Friday after emergency surgery. Nero, a 3 year old police dog, was more than just a canine drug sniffer. He served as Haller's companion and friend, long after their work day concluded. "Some may look at our partners as just dogs that are highly trained," but they are much more, said officer Dan Parker, who oversees the department's canine unit. 
"Nero definitely loved only one person and that was Todd," Parker said, fighting back tears as he eulogized the dog. They "were not only partners, but inseparable," he said. Nero was euthanized Friday following emergency surgery for gastric bloat, said Dr. Floyd Lee, a veterinarian at the Cross Clinic in Terre Haute. For unknown reasons, a dog's stomach can fill with air and easily rotate itself, cutting off circulation to the organ, said Lee, who was among about 50 people attending Nero's memorial service. The affliction is more common among large dogs than small. Even with surgery, the condition can be life threatening, and in Nero's case the stomach tissue had deteriorated beyond repair, Lee said. Nero's death was the first for the Police Department's canine unit, which was established about four years ago, Parker said. Nero, one of four dogs assigned to the department, was born in April 1998 and acquired about a year later when Parker traveled to Europe to transport 12 police dogs back to the United States for an Indiana kennel. He came with one talent -- to bite, Parker recalled. "He's the reason I carry a suture kit, by the way," Parker said, bringing a laugh from the audience during the otherwise somber ceremony. 
Nero's difficult personality proved a challenge for his new handler. Haller, at first nervous about his new role, said it took a few months for the 100 pound canine to warm to him, but before long it was the "beginning of a true friendship." At home, Nero had his own log retreat -- a large insulated dog house made with cedar logs and finished off with carpet inside, Haller said. During the workday, the two often reported to schools, businesses and even state agencies, where Nero would perform his public service, looking for drugs. With a fixed stare, the dog would alert his handler to hidden narcotics, and wouldn't move until told. Nero and his handler were part of an estimated 1,000 plus searches during the dog's lifetime --including one Haller remembers fondly. As Nero sniffed for narcotics in a car, the dog found more than he bargained for while his handler briefly looked away.  When Haller turned around, his dog's mouth was filled with a Big Mac sandwich, a treat he'd found in fast food bag inside the car. Haller ordered his canine companion to return the burger to the bag, and the dog immediately complied.  But his antics didn't end there. At times, the four legged officer seemed fascinated with machine guns, once knocking down a SWAT team member by his gun during a raid on a Terre Haute home, Haller said. And, he was always reliable at slobbering on a clean uniform.  However, when it came down to serious business, Nero was one of the best in the state, Parker said, explaining that Nero and his handler had recently placed third in a canine olympics competition in Muncie. Hours after the dog was honored Friday in Terre Haute for the accomplishment, something was noticeably wrong. Haller's four legged partner became sick, bloating in the midsection. Even emergency surgery wasn't enough to save the dog. "It was like losing a child," said Kris Wagner, Haller's fiancee. And for the department, it was like losing one of their own. A member of the honor guard stood stoically next to a photograph of a wide eyed, perky eared Nero during Tuesday's 40 minute memorial service. The eulogies, including a brief one from Haller himself, brought tears to some officers' eyes. Many wore black bands across their badges. For now, Haller's squad car will have a noticeably empty back seat. But hopefully not for long. Even as early as today, Haller and Parker planned to make the trip to a Peru kennel to look for a new police dog. And Haller, an eight year member of the force who never intended to be a dog handler, is eager to do it all over. Even if that means the back seat of his squad car will become a chew toy once again. 
In Loving Memory of 
October 8, 2001 
... Partner:  Sgt. Julie Hoffman 
 Topeka Police Dept. KS 
320 S. Kansas - Topeka, KS 66603 - 785.368.9551 
This morning at 1:30 AM, my partner since 1994, 
Chief, died in my arms after a long battle with cancer.  
I never knew being a K-9 handler could be so painful, 
but losing a partner and best friend is beyond words.  
God I know there are no criminals in Heaven,  
but please make sure Chief has a place to play. 
God speed Chief.  
My partner, my love, and my heart has gone to the angels.  
Sgt. Julie Hoffman and Angel K-9 Chief  
  Officer Hoffman has been on the department since 1983. Chief has been in the department since 1994.  Chief  was one of the oldest working police dogs.  This is one of the baseball cards that we handed out to children.  Incidentally, Julie is formerly from Elizabeth, NJ. 
 Julie will never forget Chief.
Julie has a new partner: 
We competed in a narcotics detection competition and won a 2nd place trophy.  In that category he is a lot like Chief.  His name is Joker and he is very ornery.  He came from the same man who raised and trained my Angel boy Chief.  I cannot come to your website without the tears pouring out.  I miss my boy so much.  I was cleaning the other day and I had placed a bag of Chief's hair behind his picture but had forgotten it was there.  I held it to my heart and cried a river.  He was always there for me and I just wish I could have done more for him.  I would like to meet you someday and get your autograph in my book.  Your compassion for us handlers is beyond words.  You hold a very special place in my heart.  You don't know how much the cards meant.  You helped me heal.  For you and all you do, I will always be grateful.  God speed Angel Chief, keep watch over Lulu and keep her safe. 
Julie and K-9 Joker 
(his name fits his personality) 
In Loving Memory of 
Sept. 10, 1996 - Oct. 7, 2001 SAR 
Handler: Lou Ann Metz 
Summit Search & Rescue Dogs, Inc. OH 
1074 Jones St. Ravenna, OH  44266 
 Certified Area Search Dog with Summit Search and Rescue Dog Certified Delta Society Pet Partner 
Walker was a special guy.  He was confident, compassionate, gentle and forgiving. Walker had his own ideas of fund and they did not include repetition or simplicity. Walker proved to me that although humans "think" they know where scent is, we humans actually have no idea. Walker would turn a deaf ear to me if he had scent, no mater how long or how loud I yelled. He would just keep working until he made his find. He would come running back to me full tilt and hug me with that 100 lb body and grinning ear to ear. Walker taught us all the meaning of intelligent disobedience. Being a new handler, I would often feel compelled to change things after reading a book or attending a seminar. Eventually however, Walker figured out what worked and got me trained. I learned to put my hands in my pockets, keep my mouth shut and give Walker the trust the trust he deserved. He never let me down. As a Pet Partner, Walker spent much of his time with cancer patients at our local hospital. Ever gentle, Walker would quietly sit while the patients or families shared their thoughts with him.  Walker seemed to soak up their hugs and their tears and replace them with a smile. He was magical that way. Walker died much too young at six years of age from bacterial meningitis. I am richer for the experience of being his partner and having him as my teacher. 
Thanks so much for all of your work.  I am currently working a 18 month old White German Shepherd named Lilly.  We are certified with Summit Search and Rescue Dogs, Inc. of Ohio as a Human Remains Detection Team. We are currently working toward a specialization in historical remains detection which we will utilize by assisting in the detection of battlefield remains, Native American burial sites, lost cemeteries and family burial sites.  Lilly is a certified Delta Society Pet Partner, so when we are not searching, we visit patients at our local hospital 
God Bless, 
Lou Ann Metz & Lilly 
cards mailed and received by Lou Ann wonderful email received. 5/11/02


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