Memorials to Fallen K-9s 
 2005 - T
The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners 
 I need your help to inform me of such losses.

Dept. addresses available for those who want to send condolences to officers. See below
In Loving Memory of
November 12, 1991 ~ November 30, 2005

Partner:  Kevin Hershey Sr.  Deputy Sheriff (RET)
Summit County Sheriff's Office
205 E. Crosier St.

Akron, OH  44308

330 701-0215

I recently lost my best friend and partner K-9 Trooper. I am Deputy Kevin Hershey Sr. (ret) and worked for the Summit County Sheriff's Office, Akron Ohio in 1993 -1994. My dog retired in 2001 from Massillon Police Department, Massillon ,OH and lived to be 14 years old. He was put down, as his hips finally gave out.  I had to take a medical leave in 2000, and took a disability retirement from the Sheriff's Office in 2002. I am having him cremated and am picking up his remains next week.  Canton Police Department K9 unit will have a ceremony and we will place his stone in the K9 training field memorial gardens that now remembers 40 Police K-9s.  I trained with them and I want them to conduct a Flag Folding Ceremony for me.  There will be several K-9 units from Summit County S.O. and other local departments present. He lived a full and happy life, and its so hard for me now that he's gone. I will be waiting until spring for the service, and his remains will stay with me. When I am buried, he will come with me.
Reading "Guardians of the Night" burned through my heart. God Bless You for caring about our work dogs and most of all,...our best friend and partner. 
Kevin Hershey, Sr.

In Loving Memory of
Born: 10 Feb. 1994 - Died: 20 Jan. 2005

Norfolk Naval Base Virginia
I am a navy military working dog handler out of Norfolk, VA.  I have a patrol/narcotic detector dog TARA.  Yesterday, she broke her leg badly during training, and x-rays showed she also has cancer.  Tara will be put down to rest Friday January 21st.  She served a long, proud and honorable Naval career, and will be dearly missed.  MA2 Stietzel, USN 

This dog was a patrol/narcotic dog and was a 10 year old Dutch Shepherd.  K-9 Tara served for 9.5 years.  I believe it was on Monday the dog broke his leg during training and when they brought the dog in to the vet they also found out Tara had cancer and was going to be put to sleep. It's hard to believe these pictures were taken in August. She looks great for 10 years old.   Tara BIO: She was born 10 February 1994.  She was accepted to Lackland AFB, TX 341st TRS for her Military working dog training 3 May 1995.  She certified (graduated) Drug Detection 14 Sept. 1995 and Patrol 16 Nov. 1995.  Then she was sent to Navy Region Mid Atlantic where she spent all of her career, ending at Norfolk Naval Base.  She has had numerous narcotic seizures, and performed numerous Random Anti Terrorism Measures, Inspections of SHIPS, Buildings, barracks, Aircraft, Baggage, and Vehicles. She also conducted many Foot Patrols of the Base guarding it's perimeters and Entry Point's.  When I say numerous, I mean 100's of 1,000 's if not a million.  Although she was a working dog she was very lovable.  She loved to play ball, and run in the grass, she liked to swim on the little beach on base. She's a puppy at heart.  Above all, she was my friend and partner.  I always knew she was watching out for me and others.  She had so much DRIVE up until her very last day...she worked through pain, just to complete the mission.  "Fair winds and Following Seas." 
MWD TARA (X146),USN Retired.

Kelly's new partner in silhouette & below
K-9 RONNY  (Nov. 2005)

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir CPWDA

In loving Memory of
August 14, 2005
(SAR & Therapy K9

Handler:  Vynn Stuart
Little River County Sheriff's Department

By Jim Williamson  - Texarkana Gazette
Tonka, a trailing and therapy dog, died in the arms of his owner Vynn Stuart Aug. 14. The 3-year-old German shepherd died from complications from "me esophagus," a condition that, for unknown reasons, causes a pouch to form in the esophagus. Tonka was unable to digest food or swallow water.  "It got to the point it wasn't fixable," said Stuart.  Tonka's list of deeds is long and impressive. He helped find an elderly man who was having memory problems and was lost in the woods near his house. He also helped locate an autistic child who had wondered away from his home and into a wooded area.  Tonka had even helped in what is called a historical rescue, where he and Stuart joined with the Four States Search and Rescue Team to help locate abandoned graves in the McCurry and Baker family graveyard near Wamba, Texas. Tonka and the other dogs involved in the search found graves outside the fence line and on the outer perimeter of the cemetery.  "Watching those dogs work is something," Don McCurry said in a March 9, 2003, Texarkana Gazette article about the canine sleuths that opened up a world of history for him and others to consider at the cemetery.  Tonka was named after the Choctaw word for big buffalo, and the complete Choctaw phrase for him is Che-Ah-Chuhk-Mah Tonka, meaning "my good boy Tonka."  He was registered with Therapy Dog International and had received the American Kennel Club canine good citizen certification.  He was a search dog trained primarily in live trailing but also in cadaver searches. A cadaver search uses a dog to find a dead person either on land or in water.  He was also the featured dog on the Texas A&M Criminal Justice Program brochure.  Tonka and Stuart helped train the Cass County, Texas, K-9 dog and participated in training with the Texas police departments in Longview, Port Arthur and Dallas and search teams in Houston, Dallas and Shreveport, LA. 
They have also worked with the Four-States Search team, Oklahoma search team and the Central Arkansas search and rescue. "Tonka loved what he did. If I picked up his bag with his leash and equipment, he knew it meant work, and (he) got excited," Stuart said. "The process of training is a game and you have to make it fun. When we trained, we made it to where he had a good ending and he would find what we were looking for." Stuart said Tonka was always ready for any situation, no matter how difficult.  "We practiced in all conditions. Even barometric pressure conditions makes a difference in searching or trailing a person. The barometric pressure affects how low or how high a person's scent will raise or fall," Stuart said. "Tonka was a trailing dog and it's different from tracking. A tracking dog stays right on the steps a person is taking. A trailing dog may stray from the tracks, but he follows the scent to find the person over all types of terrain."  Tonka had developed an acute sense of smell, said Stuart. In one training session, a hair from a girl was folded into a white towel and it was burned to ashes. The ashes were placed inside a burned building. Stuart directed him to take scent off the pile of ashes to start his search for the missing suspect.   "That's how he started searching for the trail, and by taking the scent, he was able to find the girl," he said. "It's hard to grasp how smart and intelligent Tonka was. There is no way we could find people like the dogs can do with the human nose.  "I don't believe God put dogs here on Earth for just pets. Being able to share the experiences of Tonka has really been a blessing," said Stuart, who works as a cytology lab technician with AmeriPath at the Chappell Joyce Pathology Association in Texarkana, Texas.  Stuart said she was angered the day Tonka died when she was unable to secure a veterinarian to perform euthanasia on him.  "They were rude and some hung up on me. I was mad. Tonka struggled in my arms and he wanted to live," she said of her best friend who died in her arms.  Tonka was an official deputy with the Little River County Sheriff's Department.  "He helped us a lot and we considered him one of our deputies and part of the family. We called on Vynn and Tonka many times, and she always came out with Tonka to help," Little River County Sheriff Danny Russell said. "We mourn the loss and he will be missed. His services were invaluable."  Stuart is struggling with buying and training another dog.  "I think it would be too soon to get another dog now. I would be comparing him to Tonka and it would be unfair," she said. "A dog like Tonka is rare. The next dog I get may not have the same qualities as Tonka and become just a lap dog."Tonka has really been a blessing," said Stuart, who works as a cytology lab technician with AmeriPath at the Chappell Joyce Pathology Association in Texarkana, Texas.  Stuart said she was angered the day Tonka died when she was unable to secure a veterinarian to perform euthanasia on him."They were rude and some hung up on me. I was mad. Tonka struggled in my arms and he wanted to live," she said of her best friend who died in her arms.  Tonka was an official deputy with the Little River County Sheriff's Department.  "He helped us a lot and we considered him one of our deputies and part of the family. We called on Vynn and Tonka many times, and she always came out with Tonka to help," Little River County Sheriff Danny Russell said. "We mourn the loss and he will be missed. His services were invaluable."  Stuart is struggling with buying and training another dog.  "I think it would be too soon to get another dog now. I would be comparing him to Tonka and it would be unfair," she said. "A dog like Tonka is rare. The next dog I get may not have the same qualities as Tonka and become just a lap dog." 
submitted by Jim  Cortina

In Loving Memory of
July 12, 2005

Partner: Sgt. Nick Kellum
St. Paul Police Dept.
367 Grove St.
St. Paul, MN  55101

St. Paul cop grieves lost canine partner - Curt Brown,  Star Tribune July 13, 2005
St. Paul police officer Nick Kellum tried his best to convince himself of two things: You don't cry over animals. And that his spunky canine partner, Tyson, was not a pet, but another crime-fighting tool to help us "protect and serve and, hopefully, make it home every day."  But when Tyson, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, collapsed while chasing a suspect Friday and died from heat stroke and a rare case of a paralyzed larynx, Kellum found himself reconsidering his tough-guy tenets.
I always told myself an animal is an animal and, as long as it's not a human, you don't cry," Kellum, 30, said Tuesday. "But I was a big guy with tears rolling down my eyes when they told me they had to put him down. I felt like one of my friend or brothers had just passed. 

Canine trainers, during a 12-week course last year, instilled in Kellum the notion that Tyson was a working dog, not a pet.
"But when you take off that uniform and he's laying in your lap on your backyard deck, it's hard not to see him as a pet," said Kellum, a sixth-year cop. "My son turned 3 months old on July Fourth and I was telling him how he and Tyson were going to grow up together and one day, he could feed him. Four days later, the dog is gone."  Tyson was born in Germany and purchased for about $5,000 by the St. Paul K-9 Foundation, which is trying to find another dog for Kellum. That could be easier said than done. Trainers say the demand for police dogs is intensely high since 9/11. How important was Tyson? Flash back one week. At 6:25 a.m. Thursday, St. Paul 911 officers received a call from a woman arguing with her boyfriend on the western edge of town.
The line went dead. Kellum and Tyson were among those responding. The man had hit his wife on the head with the phone and was refusing to step out of the house. He had a 10-inch kitchen knife. While other officers pulled out guns and Tasers, Kellum found an unopened screen door and announced he was letting the dog in. The man hollered: "Do what you need to do, I'm not coming out." Within seconds, Tyson clamped his jaw on the man's leg. When officers handcuffed the suspect, they found two knives nearby. The next day, while tracking a robbery suspect on the East Side, Tyson sounded like he was having an asthma attack. He collapsed and Kellum gave up the chase and ended up at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital. The diagnosis: a rare tracheal disorder called laryngeal paralysis. He was euthanized, police say.
"Imagine trying to breath and talk while someone's choking you," Kellum said. "He'd been pulling hard in the heat and wasn't getting enough wind and was wheezing and turning blue when he went down." Tyson is currently frozen because he bit the suspect last week and rabies law requires a 10-day waiting period before he can be cremated. His ashes will be buried beneath a plaque at the Timothy Jones Canine Training Facility off Rice Street just north of the city he served. "Some dogs you see in the back of the squad car look like they're ready to tear the back of the cage off," Kellum said. "Tyson was different. He was always laid back until he saw those lights and heard those sirens. When I popped the door, I always used to say: "Let's go find this guy and Dr. Jekyll
A St. Paul police dog has died of heat stroke and a previously undiagnosed disease after pursuing a suspect last week, police said Tuesday.  Tyson, a 3-year-old German shepherd, had trouble breathing during a lengthy pursuit and collapsed on Friday. The dog was taken to an animal hospital and later transferred to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a rare disorder, said Paul Schnell, department spokesman. When veterinarians determined surgery wouldn't stop the disease's progress, Tyson was euthanized, Schnell said. Officer Nick Kellum worked with Tyson. They joined the department's canine unit in March 2004.
"The loss of a police canine is devastating for the handler, the unit and the city," said Sgt. Paul Rhodes, who heads the canine unit. "These dogs do a tremendous amount of work and serve their handlers for the good of the community."
On Thursday, Tyson caught a suspect in a domestic assault who was carrying a knife.  The department has asked the nonprofit St. Paul Police K-9 Foundation to purchase a replacement dog for Kellum. The dogs usually come from Europe and cost about $5,000.  Another St. Paul police dog died suddenly in September. Dakota, a 4-year-old German shepherd, had a rare intestinal disorder.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

  July 1, 2005

Partner: Tina Waymine
Miami County Sheriff's Office
201 West Main Street
Troy, Ohio 45373

Randolph police dog dies unexpectedly    By NICK WERNER  -7/13/05   IN
MUNCIE - Randolph County Sheriff Jay Harris might decide this week whether to replace his department's only police dog, which died unexpectedly earlier this month.  Tresco, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, died of an unknown cause July 1 in an off-duty deputy's police car, Harris told The Star Press. The dog had chewed on the seat belt and interior of the car and police believe might have choked to death on something or suffered a heart attack, Harris said.  "It was pretty shocking at first," Harris said.  Tresco was trained to track and take down suspects and search for drugs. The dog had been with the department for six years, Harris said.
For now the sheriff's department will rely on dogs from Winchester, Union City and other local police agencies, Harris said.
Getting a dog from those cities to an investigation or traffic stop would likely take between 10 and 20 minutes, Harris said, just a few minutes longer than when Tresco was in action. Tresco was scheduled for retirement in October. The dog was suffering from bad hips and likely would not have passed another annual certification, the sheriff said. Tresco's handler, deputy Art Moystner, was on vacation at the time of the dog's death, Harris said.  During the vacation, Tresco was to be housed at a kennel, but had to be removed after about a week because loud thunderstorms were scaring the dog and prompting him to misbehave, Harris said.  Tresco was then transferred to the care of another deputy who had been keeping the dog in a police car, exercising it every two hours during the day, Harris said. Tresco was most comfortable in the police car, the sheriff added.The car's windows were open a few inches and the weather was not hot, Harris said.The deputy found the dog dead around noon July 1.The sheriff's department did not request an autopsy because of costs, Harris said.Moystner has told the sheriff he is not interested in working with another dog, Harris said, and the department will not buy another dog unless another officer steps forward.
Another officer has expressed interest in becoming a canine officer, a six- to eight-year commitment, and is expected to decide today, Harris said. I have felt the most awful feeling in the entire world. I had to put my police service dog down July 9, 2005 due to hip problems. Barry had worked with our Sheriff's Office for 10 years and had only been in retirement for 9 months. Nothing can express the way I feel and I know only time will take care of the pain. Please let me know what information you need to add Barry to your book. I have the first edition and would like to purchase the second edition when it is ready. I don't know of anyone else that has given the K9's the attention and recognition that they deserve as you and your book has.
Respectfully,  Tina Waymire     submitted by Tina & Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 2005


Partner:  Officer Steve Nelson

Lodi Police Department
215 West Elm St.
Lodi, CA 95240

Tosca leaps over a barrel as part of a 2002 training day. The   8 year old Dutch Shepherd died last month, becoming the second Lodi police dog to die in less than a year. (Courtesy photo)  Tosca loved playing with Freeman's cats and loved the game of chasing "bad guys," he said.  In 2001, Tosca was on duty when Jacob Torres overpowered a Galt Police officer and took his gun, then led officers on a slow chase into Lodi, where he shot and wounded a Lodi officer.  When the vehicle finally stopped, officers focused on the main suspect, but Tosca obeyed Freeman and went after a female passenger when she tried to run from authorities.  Tosca stopped the woman -- while the suspect's dog tried to attack Tosca. The trained police dog refused to fight the other dog.  Later, when Tosca retired, Freeman had every intention of keeping her as a pet. But she loved police work, and then Ringo died.  "If anyone was going to have her, it would be (Nelson), especially with losing Ringo. That's like losing a family member," Freeman said.  Nelson began working with Tosca, who had been living a life of leisure after having 10 puppies. Before long, Tosca was on patrol with Nelson full-time.  Then, on July 21, she was suddenly gone.  "From the first symptom until she died it was only four days," Nelson said.  Like Ringo, an impression was made of Tosca's pawprint, and then she was cremated.  "She's in a box next to Ringo," Nelson said.
Lodi police dog dies  - By Layla Bohm  News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Tosca loved police work. The black Dutch shepherd saw her share of adventure in Lodi, then went into retirement to have puppies -- four of which became police dogs.  She loved the work so much that when Lodi Police Officer Steve Nelson's dog suddenly died of cancer last October, the department's K9 team brought Tosca out of retirement.   Officer Steve Nelson controls Tosca after a training exercise at the Lodi Police Department Training Facility in October of 2004. (News-Sentinel file photo) "She never lost the drive to do it," Nelson said Thursday. "The day I went to pick her up she jumped in the patrol car, stuck her head out the window and started barking."  But less than nine months after Nelson had to say good-bye to his other dog, Ringo, he found himself facing the loss of another canine. In mid-July, Tosca began limping. Four days later, the 8-year-old dog was dead of a blood clot on her aorta that could not be treated.  Nelson has continued patrolling without a dog and doesn't plan to patrol with another dog. He said he's not necessarily disheartened, but that it's a combination of factors.  "To lose two (dogs) over such a short amount of time is a little discouraging. But I'll move on to other things," he said.  In October, Ringo was being treated for what seemed to be a minor infection when he was diagnosed with fast-spreading cancer. Veterinarians said the dog was in pain, and they heavily sedated him. Nelson was there when they put the dog to sleep. This time, Tosca died so suddenly that Nelson wasn't even there. "She made the hard decision for me; she passed away on her own," he said.  The news was hard for the whole K9 team, and it also came as a blow to Detective Brian Freeman, who first patrolled with Tosca. "She was the best dog I've ever had," said Freeman, who's had a number of pets over the years. "She would crawl up in your lap if you'd let her." 
Details:  For the second time in less than a year, the Lodi Police Department sadly announces the tragic loss of a police canine.  “Tosca,” an 8 year old Dutch Shepherd, died at the Sacramento Surgical Veterinary Hospital on July 21st, after it was discovered that she was suffering from an inoperable blood clot on her aorta. Tosca had been partnered with Officer Steve Nelson for the last seven months.  She had returned to duty from retirement to replace Officer Nelson’s previous K-9 partner, Ringo, who passed away in October of 2004 after a battle with cancer.
Tosca joined the Lodi Police Department in January of 2000.  She was 1 1/2 years old when she was imported from Holland.  She was assigned to Officer Brian Freeman and the two trained together extensively on the skills needed by a patrol K-9 team.  Officer Freeman and Tosca then served together for about 3 years, performing building searches and apprehending fleeing suspects.  Tosca retired from patrol duty in January of 2003, and was living with Officer Freeman and his family when Officer Nelson’s first partner, Ringo died of cancer.  The decision was made to bring Tosca out of retirement until funding could be obtained for a new dog. 
Sgt. Chris Jacobson, supervisor of the LPD K-9 Team, said that Officer Nelson was extremely dedicated to the canine unit, working with three different dogs.  He began his tenure with the unit working with Canine Annie, a black Labrador Retriever, who was trained as a narcotics detection dog.  Once Annie was retired Officer Nelson began working with Ringo.  The pair worked together until Ringo passed away as a result of cancer.  Tosca was brought out of retirement to work as Officer Nelson’s partner for the past seven months. 
Sgt. Jacobson felt that Tosca was one of the best canines he has ever seen.  Officer Nelson and Tosca recently finished 4th overall in the Redondo Beach Canine Competition, besting 40 other dog teams from Southern California and the State of Oregon.  She was affectionately known as “Momma Dog” because 4 of her puppies became working police dogs, including recently retired Canine Max who worked with Officer Mike Oden.
There is also a financial side to this tragedy.  Police dogs are purchased through a combination of city budget monies and donations.  (Due to training and liability issues, donations of dogs are no longer a feasible option.) Replacing Tosca will cost in excess of $5,000 and will not be an easy task given the current budgetary situation.  The service that a police K-9 team provides is invaluable, however, and a new dog will be sought. For the moment however, we mourn the loss of another faithful servant; “Momma Dog”.

Contact:  Lt. William Barry at 209-329-2966 or

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir, CPWDA