Loving Memory of
- March 2, 2001
- Officer Craig Bunting
K-9 Police Unit NJ
North Clinton Ave.
Officer Bunting, trainer of the Trenton Police K-9 Unit and I'm sorry I
have not return your call so far. We have been really busy this week as
you know, (National Police Week and Memorial Service). I did check out
your web site and was very impressed. I lost two pets within that
last three months, and it has been hard. One was on Christmas day, a Fila
(Lector) about 180 pounds that I got for my wife nine years ago for
Christmas which made it that much harder. The second one was my K-9 partner
who I met at the dog pound in Trenton and became the best partner that
I ever had since becoming a police officer. Shadow was his name and his
was about ten years old. When you think, coming from the pound you never
know. He was abused and left on the streets prior to coming home with my
wife and I. He was getting ready for retirement, I had him fixed, teeth
cleaned and about one month to go to retire when I found him gone on March
2, 2001. The vet found a tumor in his heart that was cancerous. He said
that nothing could be done. Shadow was a great K-9 partner for six years
but it seems like just yesterday that we were put together. so many street
fights, burglaries etc. I miss him everyday. There was so much more we
could have done together. Got to go. I'll call soon.
waiting to hear from C. B. to make cards & send.
Loving Memory of
Badge # 762
Beach Police Dept. Fl
OF MEMORIAL CARDS FOR ZEUS'S SERVICE
shipped Fed Ex over night on Friday, & arrived Sat. before noon.
Memorial Service 5/29/01 - Tuesday
you to Nicole Brochu for identifying Zeus for me.
you Sarah for letting me help you all. Officer Thomas & Zeus
Officer Thomas &
Zeus - above
bid farewell to 'family' dog
Lambert, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer -
May 30, 2001
and women from 40 agencies said goodbye Tuesday to the officer who wore
Boynton Beach badge No. 762. They played taps on the trumpet and Amazing
Grace on bagpipes. An honor guard presented a mourning family with an American
flag and the chief gave a speech and awarded the department medal of honor.
Zeus may have been a dog, but he was one of them just the same. "It
has been a hard thing to go through," said Boynton Beach officer Robert
Thomas as he surveyed a reception thick with fellow officers from throughout
the state. "But this is phenomenal." Zeus died about 6:30 a.m. May
20 after he, Thomas and fellow officer Stewart Steele surprised a burglary
suspect in the Medication Station on Woolbright Road. Seventeen-year-old
James Connelly traded gunfire with Thomas in the pharmacy.
At least one bullet hit Thomas' bulletproof vest, and he is still recuperating
from injuries to his torso and one finger. Police used tear gas in
an attempt to flush out the suspect and firefighters had to put out a subsequent
blaze at the store at 141 E. Woolbright Road before officers entered to
find Connelly and Zeus dead inside. Tests are still pending 10 days later
to determine whether gunshots, fire or smoke killed Connelly and Zeus.
There were no public services for Connelly. His body was unceremoniously
cremated last week in Broward County. But officers came from as far
away as Jacksonville to pay their respects for Zeus during a 45-minute
ceremony at Caloosa Regional Park. Many had K-9 partners of their own.
At least one, Lt. Robert Musco of Delray Beach, knew what Thomas and his
family were going through. Musco's K-9 partner, Cello, died of injuries
suffered while tracking suspected car thieves in 1984. "You spend
24 hours a day with the dog," Musco said. "You even take them on vacations."
The police contingent was joined by about 200 civilians, some in tears,
who came to pay tribute to the police dog. Boynton Beach officers
clearly were moved by the outpouring of sympathy. "Honestly, it makes
me want to cry," said Steele, who responded to an alarm call at the pharmacy
just before Thomas and Zeus arrived. Thomas, his wife and three children
seemed to hold back tears through the ceremony at the park and a reception
later at the department's Fraternal Order of Police lodge on Miner Road.
"He (Zeus) was an important part of my family for seven years," Thomas
said. "And he died intervening on my behalf." Thomas said Zeus "alerted,"
after entering the pharmacy that Sunday morning, the dog's bark tipped
Thomas and Steele to Connelly's position in the building. "Had it
not been for his alert, I would have entered the building in a different
way," Thomas said. The officer said he was recovering from his wounds
and eager to get back to work. Zeus is always in my thoughts," he
said. "Every day I wake up and I think about him."
Zeus is gone, but his death
has allowed police to buy two more police dogs.The outpouring of support
from the community after the German shepherd's death in a burning building
on May 20 provided the Police Department with enough money to buy two dogs
for its K-9 unit.
Officer Thomas's present partner: (click)
officers introduced the dogs to the public.Ceasar, a 2-year-old male German
shepherd, and Ully, a 16-month-old male shepherd, joined the Police Department
about three weeks ago and are undergoing the required 400 hours of training.Ceasar,
who was bred in Belgium, and Ully, who hails from the Netherlands, join
the department's two other dogs. Zeus, 9, died during a standoff
with a burglary suspect in a local drugstore when he got trapped inside
the burning building after being separated from his handler.Officer Robert
Thomas, Zeus' handler and partner of seven years, was shot by the 17-year-old
suspect when he and Zeus entered the Medication Station, a pharmacy on
East Woolbright Road.Thomas was dragged out by a fellow officer and taken
to the hospital. Zeus, who joined the department in 1994, later was found
dead inside the pharmacy. A fire had erupted when police fired tear gas
canisters inside."A lot of animal lovers came forward and wanted to do
something," police spokesman Sgt. homas McCabe said. "People just kept
sending money." The dogs cost about $4,500 each, McCabe said.
Officer Thomas's present partner: K-9 Ceasar
dog killed, officer wounded at pharmacy
Sunday, police officers Stewart Steele, Robert Thomas and police dog Zeus
responded to an alarm at a local pharmacy. The front door to the Medication
Station at 141 E. Woolbright Road was open when they arrived at 6:32 and
prepared to enter. Four minutes later, Steele radioed dispatchers to say
that Thomas had been shot by a man inside the store and that they were
heading to Bethesda Memorial Hospital. Several hours later -- following
a police standoff and a fire that gutted part of the pharmacy after police
tossed in tear gas-like chemicals -- a police SWAT team went in and found
the bodies of Zeus and an unidentified man. Details about what happened
in the four minutes after police arrived at the pharmacy -- and what caused
the fire -- are still sketchy, police spokeswoman Sgt. Wendy Danysh said
late Sunday. Police did not identify the suspect Sunday, release his cause
of death or reveal possible motives. It's also unclear how Zeus died, Danysh
said. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office will examine the
dog today. Thomas, a 14-year veteran, was wearing body armor, which protected
him from the bullet that hit him. He was stable and in good condition at
Bethesda Memorial Hospital Sunday evening, according to a nursing supervisor.
He was recovering from injuries caused by the impact of the bullet hitting
the armor on the front of his torso, Danysh said. But it wasn't clear whether
Zeus, a 9-year-old German shepherd, was wearing his department-issue bulletproof
vest. After Sunday morning's shooting, police surrounded the building.
A few hours later the pharmacy building caught fire shortly after police
threw two types of chemicals similar to tear gas into the business to try
to force the suspect out. Although firefighters had been standing by as
a precaution, the fire damaged much of the inside of the building, specifically
on its north side, said Mike Smollen, Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue battalion
chief. The cause of the fire was unknown Sunday, according to Smollen.
"There's no telling what started it at this point," Smollen said. "It could
be anything from the guy himself, or I've heard stories that tear gas can
start it. We'll just have to wait and see." Smollen said State Attorney
Barry Krischer was on the scene and borrowed a pair of firefighter's boots
to inspect the store after the incident. The owner of the Medication Station,
David Goodmanson, was out of town Sunday and could not be reached, his
son said when a reporter called his home. A small crowd gathered in the
parking lot of a strip mall near the store to watch as firefighters and
police inspected the building, an independent pharmacy that has a loyal
customer base. John Pacy, a veterinarian who lives nearby, said he walked
down to the pharmacy after noticing a police helicopter overhead. He stayed
on the scene for a few hours, waiting for police to remove Zeus from the
building. "I called the animal emergency clinic and had two doctors on
standby in surgery, ready and waiting," he said. Because Pacy, who works
at Golfview Animal Hospital in West Palm Beach, was not near his office,
paramedics offered their supplies for him to use. But he heard about 11:30
that Zeus had died in the building. "It's tragic," he said. "I wish there
was something more we could've done." Warren Rogers, 50, who lived a few
blocks from the pharmacy and regularly used it said it always reminded
him of "an old-fashioned mom-and-pop pharmacy."
so strange to see smoke coming out of there," he said. It was still unclear
Sunday evening what the suspect was doing in the pharmacy, Danysh said,
or why he fired shots. Drugs and cash were stolen from the pharmacy in
a February burglary, she said. Delray Beach police are investigating a
May 14 incident during which a man pointed a gun at a Walgreen's pharmacist
and demanded the prescription drug OxyContin. Danysh could not say whether
this incident was related to the drug. A child who answered the phone at
Thomas' home Sunday said there was no adult available for comment. Thomas,
42, became Zeus' trainer in 1994, when the department imported him from
France. Most police dogs live in their handlers' homes. "Zeus was a sweet
family dog. He was a sweet animal and a good worker," Danysh said. His
death was being mourned by a force he had served since 1994. Officers are
treating Zeus' passing as a death in the family. Zeus was the second Boynton
Beach police dog to die on duty; the first was killed nearly 20 years ago
when a Florida Highway Patrol trooper shot the dog during a chase. Zeus
was trained to detect narcotics as well as to search areas, buildings and
articles, track suspects and control crowds. Together, Thomas and Zeus
earned numerous accolades in police dog competitions, crime fighting and
in the community, visiting local schools to teach students about police
dogs. "It's so hard in that situation, not just for the officer but for
his family and everyone who knows the dog," Danysh said, Zeus will
be mourned and honored as any human would be. "We have lost an officer,"
she said. Staff writers George Bennett and Kimberly Miller and database
editor Christine Stapleton contributed to this story. firstname.lastname@example.org
22, 2001BOYNTON BEACH -- A Boynton Beach teenager with a history of burglary
and weapons arrests was identified Monday as the burglar killed inside
a pharmacy during a Sunday standoff with police. James Connelly, 17, was
found dead inside the Medication Station after tear gas canisters fired
by the police SWAT team ignited the building. A police dog also died inside
the blazing building.Connelly exchanged gunshots with a Boynton Beach police
K-9 officer inside the pharmacy, police said. The officer was hit in the
stomach, but his bulletproof vest stopped the bullet.It was unclear whether
Connelly died from gunshot wounds or the fire. The Medical Examiner's Office
said a cause of death has not yet been determined. The officer, Robert
Thomas, 42, was released from the hospital on Monday after being treated
for a severe bruise to his lower right abdomen caused by the bullet, spokeswoman
Wendy Danysh said. A bullet also hit his right pinky finger. If Thomas
returns from medical leave before the conclusion of the investigation,
he will be placed on paid leave. Of the seven times Connelly has been arrested
since 1998, six of them were by the Boynton Beach Police Department, state
records show. Charges against him include burglary, armed burglary, auto
theft, grand larceny and carrying a concealed firearm. Boynton Beach did
not release many details of Sunday's standoff and particularly on their
decision to repeatedly fire canisters of tear gas into the business. Danysh
said she could not release details about how many times Thomas fired or
how many tear gas canisters were fired into the business because the incident
remains under investigation. Three of the aluminum tear gas canisters were
found inside the business, while a fourth ricocheted, ending up outside,
according to the Boynton Beach Fire Department. It's unknown how many others
were destroyed by the fire. The state Fire Marshall's Office is investigating.The
State Attorney's Office also is investigating the incident, as is customary
in police-related shootings. The standoff began when police responded to
a burglar alarm at the pharmacy at 6:17 a.m. and found an open door. Thomas,
another officer and the police dog, Zeus, went inside to investigate. When
Zeus located Connelly inside a room, Thomas was shot in an exchange of
gunfire. The officers ran out but were unable to get Zeus to follow. SWAT
members were called, and the area was closed off. Police called for Connelly
to come out. When he refused, they fired several canisters of tear gas
into the building. About 9:15 a.m., the building erupted in flames and
was put out after 30 minutes. Connelly and the police dog, Zeus, were found
in a back room, in what appeared to be a storage closet, said Boynton Beach
Deputy Fire Marshal Bob Borden. Connelly had a puncture wound to his upper
left eye possibly from a dog bite, Borden said. The tear gas canisters
are hot after being fired and sometimes emit sparks, Borden said, which
can easily start a fire. The fire could have spread quickly if the pharmacy
had oxygen containers, alcohol bottles or other flammable substances, he
said. "It's one of the hazards of this type of procedure," he said.Fire
investigators have not yet determined where or how the fire started. The
business had no rear exit and no sprinklers but didn't violate city fire
codes, Borden said. After his release from the hospital Monday, Thomas
talked about losing Zeus -- his fellow officer and friend. He got the dog
when Zeus was only 18 months old and has spent nearly seven years with
him. He said that once he realized he was OK, he started thinking about
his dog and was overcome by a rush of emotion. "It was like losing a family
member, it was like losing another officer -- it was tough," Thomas said.
Thomas called Zeus a hero."He was definitely telling me somebody was in
there," he said. "I know what he's going to do for me. He won't back down
and I know he'll give his life for me -- and he did just that." Staff writers
Brad Hahn and Jon Burstein, staff researcher Kathryn Pease and WPTV Ch.
5 contributed to this report.
Loving Memory of
Sk S7K 3R6 Canada
Memoriam Police Service Dog Cyr
"The Working Dog"
are your eyes,
and protect you and yours.
are your ears,
and detect evil minds in the dark.
is your nose,
the invader of your domain.
so you may live,
is also yours.
air mailed May 25, 2001 -
wonderful not from Constable Kaye.
you so much, many share your loss.
comrade becomes first canine casualty for city police
CYR was born on February 19th 1996. His partner and friend was Constable
Steve Kaye. Kaye and Cyr had worked together protecting the citizens
of Saskatoon since April 1998. On May 21st 2001, members of the Saskatoon
Police Service were attempting to effect an arrest on firearms related
matters when the suspect fled the area in a truck. A chase ensued
which ended on Highway 41. The male suspect exited his vehicle discharging
shots into the air and was commanded by police several times to drop his
weapon. In an attempt to disarm and subdue the subject Police
Service Dog CYR was commanded to attack. PSD Cyr took on the challenge
of subduing the subject without hesitation as he had done a million times
before. He did it because he was asked to. He did it to protect his
partner and the community. There was no fear...only determination...to
do what was right. The subject discharged his weapon killing Police
Service Dog CYR. Cyr died instantly, and at that moment we lost a
colleague, a partner, a friend and a police officer.
for your courage and strength we remember you. You have paid the
ultimate price to protect us. We will never forget you.
Acquire Grandson of Slain Dog
Park, Alberta at 11:00 a.m., May 30, 2001, Constable Steve Kaye of the
Saskatoon Police Service will receive a young dog named “Blue” for training
as a police dog. Blue is the grandson of Cyr, Constable Kaye’s slain canine
partner. Kaye describes Blue as a clone of Cyr and added that the young
dog has tremendous potential to succeed as a police dog. Blue has been
living with a foster family, the Robinsons at 8 Gilmore Avenue in Sherwood
Park. (Contact person Paul Robinson 780-467-4948) Paul’s son Garret Robinson
has been Blue’s caregiver. Garret will present Blue to Constable Kaye.
Blue was owned by Heartridge Training Academy in Sherwood Park, Alberta
(780-417-6638). Peg O’Neil of Heartridge knows how difficult it is for
a child to relinquish fostership of a dog, her daughter had been prime
caregiver to Cyr before he became a member of the Saskatoon Police K-9
Unit. Heartridge will be supplying Garret with a new canine companion.
For Saskatoon Police Service Dog Cyr
service for Saskatoon Police Service Dog “Cyr” will be held Thursday, May
31, 7:00 p.m. at the Francis Morrison Library Auditorium. This is a private
memorial for Police Members and family. Media representatives will not
be allowed access to the auditorium.
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