In Loving Memory of
In Loving Memory of
December 21, 2006
Handler: Officer Jerry Turpin
Baltimore Police Department
601 E. Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Baltimore, MD There is sad news from the Baltimore Police
Department, as the oldest veteran of its renowned k-9 unit has died.
“Reno” was 14,
and served 11 years as officer Jerry Turpin's partner, before failing hips,
caused him to be put down.
With tears in his eyes, Turpin, a 26-year veteran of the force, says "I've lost
my best friend.
Nobody will ever know what goes on between an officer and his dog."
Reno and Jerry hit the streets in 1996 and were inseparable until Reno was
injured in the line of duty.
In 2005 Reno fell through a window while in pursuit of a suspect which
lead to his retirement as a result of the injuries.
sister “Imka” has
become Jerry's new partner.
There are 28 canines on the city police force which, celebrated its 50th
Loving Memory of
of Taunton Police Department
Summer St. 23 Summer St
MA 02780 - (508) 824-7522
September 7th, 2006 K-9 Rexx was put to sleep after a courageous battle
with cancer, he was 7 years old and
was an active, working member of the
Taunton Police Department. Rexx and I had been partners since April of
Rexx will be greatly missed not only by me, but by the entire Correia
family Mom: Beth and sisters: Ashley, Heather and Sophia.
by Handler, S.J. Correia
In Loving Memory of
Police dog dies; Cancer (no further information)
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
November 16, 2006
Handler: Sgt. Dave DeGonia
Kirkwood Police Department
131 West Madison,
Kirkwood MO 63122 - 314-822-5858
Reno, the beloved
and hard-working Kirkwood Police Department canine officer, died on Thursday,
He was nine years old and worked with his handler/partner Sgt. Dave DeGonia for seven-and-a-half years. Reno was
taken to Clark Animal Hospital on Nov. 16 after he didn't want to get up for breakfast, according to DeGonia. Numerous
cancerous tumors were found throughout his abdomen and he was euthanized. "Reno was far and above the average K-9 dog," Kirkwood Police Chief Jack Plummer, noting much of the credit goes to DeGonia. Not only was Reno a good
search and tracking dog, but he was also wonderful with the public, Plummer said. As recently as two weeks ago, Reno helped to locate a suspect in a Ladue robbery case, the chief added. Reno was a German Shepherd born
in the Netherlands. The Kirkwood Police Department acquired Reno in May of 1999. He attended the St. Louis
Metropolitan Police Department's canine school with DeGonia. DeGonia joined the Kirkwood Police Department in
August 1987 and was promoted to sergeant in August 2005. During their first regional patrol certification through the
United States Police Canine Association (U.S.P.C.A.) the canine team finished fifth out of approximately 40 canine teams.
This was exceptional for a first time canine team. Dave and Reno consistently placed in the top ten and one year they
finished as high as second. Reno had many accomplishments not only in Kirkwood, but also throughout the St. Louis area.
Assisting the Maryland Heights Police Department, Reno helped track down a suspect who had fled into Creve Coeur. When officers from several different departments were unable to locate the suspect, Reno began his search. Reno located the suspect in a high grassy and wooded area. DeGonia knew Reno had located the suspect when he heard the suspect yell, "I give up." Officers and citizens alike will also remember the way Reno could open the car door with his nose and close it by pulling a handle inside of the door. Reno was not only DeGonia's partner, he was also a part of his family.
He lived with the DeGonia family which includes Dave's wife Kathy and their two young daughters, plus Jack, a nine-year-old
yellow lab and Greta, an 18-month old German shepherd. Every dog training exercise ends with the dog coming to a heel position and staying until he is given his release command when he is rewarded and praised, DeGonia said. Reno's release command was "free" and his reward was his favorite "Kong" ball. DeGonia said he always praised Reno by telling him he was a clever dog — "Reno, you are clever dog and now you are free." "Reno made people smile and made criminals nervous," DeGonia
said. "Being able to watch both sides of his personality made me feel so proud
to be his handler.
" He taught me many things and gave me many memories," he
added. "I will cherish those memories and use them to help other canine teams as
well as my future dogs." Chief Plummer said the department has been
getting calls — both in
sympathy and to volunteer financial help to replace
Reno. "It's an expensive endeavor and very worthwhile," Plummer
b-training and training a K-9 dog. He noted the department will look into the
situation after the first of the year. "I'd hate to be the dog following Reno," Plummer said. A public ceremony to honor Reno will be held
on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m. at the Kirkwood Police Department, 131 W. Madison Ave.
Plans are to plant a dogwood
tree in Reno's honor. Some of Reno's "running buddies" will likely be in attendance, Plummer said.
submitted by J. Cortina
In Loving Memory of
November 28 2006
Handler: Officer Chris Gawlas
Jefferson Hills Police Department
925 Old Clairton Rd.
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025
PH: 412 655.735 - 412 655.2222
Officers Mourn K-9 Companions Death
The Jefferson Hills Police Department mourned the loss of a K-9 unit that was put to sleep earlier in the week.
The highly-trained dog was acting as a PR pooch since being shot with a pellet gun while playing in the backyard with his partner, officer Chris Gawlas. Gawlas, of the Jefferson Hills Police Department, said the shooting would make sense “if he was
engaging a subject, or if he was in a building and something happened. I could understand that,” he said. “But he was in my backyard. There's no words for that, that is cowardice.” The dog, Reno, was put to sleep after the lingering effects of the shooting became too painful. Reno was trained as a utility K-9, which meant that he could track lost
people or search buildings for narcotics or injured people. The training cost more than $10,000. Donations and seized
cash from drug dealers will help pay for Reno’s replacement. Those who worked along side the dog said it would take
a long time to get over Reno’s death. It is with the deepest sympathy that Jefferson Hills Police officer John "Chris"
Gawlas and his family announces the passing of K9 Reno. Chris was forced to retire Reno last year after Reno was shot several times with a high-powered pellet gun in his own back yard. One of the pellets was lodged next to Renos spine, which caused him great discomfort. The injury got worse over the last year and over the last couple of days Reno
quickly lost his ability to walk or even stand. Early Friday morning, Chris was forced to put Reno down to put him at ease. If it were not for this injury, Reno probably would still be serving the residents of Jefferson Hills today. Reno proudly served his community and partner with honor everyday of his career. He will be greatly missed by all. A memorial service is being planned to honor our fallen brother. I will post all further information. Please pass this on to get the word out. If you would like to send condolences, please email them to me and I will forward them to Chris and his family or you can mail
them to the following address.
Jefferson Hills Police Department C/O Officer Chris Gawlas
925 Old Clairton Rd. Jefferson Hills, Pa. 15025
Supporters ensure new K-9 for Jefferson Hills
Thursday, December 08, 2005 ~By Margaret Smykla, Tri-State Sports and News Service
As retirement drew near for Reno, 9, Jefferson Hills' police dog, his handler, Officer Chris Gawlas, sought grants for a new dog. With public funding sources slim, Officer Gawlas also approached area business leaders in September about donating. As word spread, contributions poured in, hitting the goal of $10,000 for a new dog and police training. "You can back a program verbally,
but when you actually back it financially, I think that's a sincere interest," Officer Gawlas said. On Nov. 8, he brought home 1-year-old Fritz, who, like Reno, is a purebred male German shepherd born in the Czech Republic. Fritz and Officer Gawlas are students in a strategic law enforcement canine class in North Huntingdon. Fritz is expected to be ready for full duty in the
spring. That means sniffing for drugs, apprehension, tracking people and searching buildings. In the meantime, Reno, who
lives with the Gawlas family in Jefferson Hills, is still on duty. On Saturday afternoon, the pair visited the Pleasant Hills
Middle School for the Pleasant Hills police department's community Christmas party. In his retirement, Reno will remain in the spotlight, making appearances for the DARE program and other departmental public relations events. Officer Gawlas said
his new partner, Fritz, like Reno, is extremely intelligent and a quick learner, though the animals' maturity levels differ,
and Fritz will be bigger. But as Fritz is still a puppy, even at 62 pounds, a chew bone is always on the family grocery list,
said Kim Gawlas, Officer Gawlas' wife.
In Loving Memory of
K9 "R J"
Handler: Office Bryan Hanania
Ahwatukee Foothills Police Department
Possible honor for fallen K-9 Pecos dog park could be renamed for R.J.
Ty Young The Arizona Republic Feb. 28, 2006
When police officers put on their badges and uniforms, they know there is a chance they may not live to take them off. But when
another officer makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect another, it reverberates throughout more than just the police department. In August, Officer Bryan Hanania of Ahwatukee Foothills found himself in that scenario in an incident in central Phoenix. His partner of 16 months, a Belgian Malinois police dog named Rusty Junior, stopped a suspected car thief by lying between
Hanania and the car. Rusty Junior, known as R.J. around the station, was run over by the suspected thief and dragged for 30 feet and his eventual death. Officers chased down the driver and arrested him. Hanania had spent 1,600 hours training
with R.J. Despite catching the suspect, Hanania
said it was tough saying good-bye to his canine partner. "It was very hard for my wife and me to handle," he said. "You want to put everything behind you
but it sn't very easy." Since R.J.'s
death, Hanania has started training another police dog named Cyrus. Like R.J., his new partner lives with him in his
Ahwatukee Foothills home and often runs around the 66-acre Pecos Park dog park with Hanania's two greyhounds.
The public, city officials and the Police Department have been supportive of him since R.J.'s death, Hanania said. Still, it was a surprise when he learned the Parks and Recreation Department may rename the Pecos Park dog park to honor R.J. "I think it's very appropriate, especially because we use that park very often," he said. "It wouldn't be the same it were a building or a tree." The Parks and Recreation Board may hear the proposal during its March meeting. Recreation supervisor Inger Erickson has worked with Councilman Greg Stanton, the Police Department and PetSmart to make the change. PetSmart provided much of the funding for the park. If it all comes together, Hanania said he will be honored to share a park with his old partner. "I know when I go there and see that plaque, it'll bring a smile to my face," he said.
The park is at 17010 S. 48th St., and includes two fenced off-leash areas totaling 2 1/2 acres. It is on the eastern side
of the park closest to the Pecos Road bend in Interstate 10. The park has a sidewalk entryway, water, lights,double-entry gate system, mutt mitt bags, dispensers and trash receptacles.
In Loving Memory of
October 30, 2006
Handler - Deputy Don Zickmund
Benton County Sheriff's Department
105 S Lincoln Avenue
Fowler, Indiana 47944 (765)884-0080
A police dog that served with the Benton County Sheriff's Department died.
Rolf, an eight-year-old German Shepherd from the Netherlands, was diagnosed with bone cancer and suffered a stroke.
Deputy Don Zickmund was Rolf's handler for six years. Rolf worked with the Rensselaer Police Department for
four years before serving with the Benton County Sheriff's Department. Rolf was the only canine serving with
the department, but the department does plan to continue to pursue a canine program. A memorial service is
scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. for Rolf at the town park of Fowler. The public is welcome to attend.
submitted by Jim Cortina
In Loving Memory of
July 16, 2006
Utah Highway Patrol
The Utah Highway Patrol reports that a K-9 dog has died after being left inside a vehicle by its handler. The dog, named "Reggie", died of apparent heat exhaustion on Sunday after his handler says he left the animal inside his vehicle with the engine running and the air conditioning on. In a statement released Monday, the UHP said leaving a K-9 police dog inside a vehicle with the air conditioning on is "standard procedure". The handler was staying with other troopers at a hotel in Green River. According to the statement, UHP K-9 trooper Brad Zeeman arrived at the hotel Sunday afternoon and left Reggie in the vehicle. A concerned citizen advised hotel management who then advised Trooper Zeeman that his dog was struggling inside the UHP cruiser. The trooper rushed outside and found Reggie unconscious inside the vehicle. The troopers immediately took Reggie
and put him into an ice bath to try and lower his core temperature, and then took the dog to a veterinarian in Price, where he later died. The Utah Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation into the incident.
(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY A police dog inside a Utah Highway Patrol car for six hours collapsed and later died when the air conditioner failed in extreme heat. Reggie, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois with a nose for finding drugs, was put in an ice bath and rushed to a veterinarian Sunday night but didn't survive. "As you can imagine, there are a couple of people who are broken up," Trooper Jeff Nigbur said Tuesday. "He was a hard worker and had some good dope finds. "Reggie
and his handler were on weekend patrol near Interstate 70. The dog was given food and water and placed in the patrol
car outside a motel with a window open 4 inches and the air conditioner on, Lt. Chris Simmons told the Desert Morning News. At some point, the air conditioner failed and instead blasted warm air. "There was antifreeze all over the parking lot. Something happened to the car, and we lost the coolant," Capt. Jeff Graviet said. Trooper Brad Zeeman, who was
asleep at the motel, was awakened when someone reported Reggie struggling in the car around 4 p.m. The Utah Highway Patrol typically keeps dogs inside climate-controlled vehicles rather than ask if an animal can stay in a room, Graviet said. "In years past, we've had issues with motels," he said. "We came up with a program to have the kennel in the car.It's worked for several years. We've never had a problem." The temperature in the area was 100 degrees or higher, Graviet said. Zeeman had not activated a system that opens all windows and sounds the horn when the inside
temperature exceeds 80 degrees, Graviet said. Reggie had hundreds of drug finds, including 100 pounds of
marijuana in the gas tank of a truck in 2002. He once tracked down a man who had assaulted a police officer and fled into the hills of Tooele.
In Loving Memory of
November 22, 1994 - May 9, 2006
New Britain Police Department
125 Columbus Blvd.
New Britain, CT 06051
It saddens me to inform you that Rookie
passed away today after a sudden illness. He
spent his last days in an emergency hospital
in Norwalk and died while being prepped for an
My dedicated partner and friend worked the
New Britain for 9 years and made quite a name
for himself during his tour of duty. I miss him
I work as a School Resource Officer in the local high school now, so I don't have a K9 partner. I do have a beautiful two year old German Shepherd named Odin. He was fully trained in obedience since five months old. Everything was done off
leash with him and I did the majority of police training with him after that. My wife won't let him work for me though.
It's her "baby". Rookie, my partner of almost ten years, passed a few years ago. It gets a little easier with time, but it sure doesn't go away. He worked as a PSD from February 1996 and retired from service in November 2005. He worked Patrol & Narcotics.
submitted by J. Petro
In Loving Memory of
Cpl. Pierre Gardner
Moncton New Brunswick - Canada
RCMP Headquarters - 1200 Vanier Parkway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2
Police dog found strangled in woods
RCMP police dog killed in the line of duty , Baltimore, N.B. On July 22, 2006, Caledonia District 11 RCMP responded to a call
of an armed man in Baltimore, N.B. The J Division Emergency Response Team and Police Service Dog “Rain” were also called
to the scene. At the scene, “Rain” got away from his handler and pursued a suspect into a wooded area. The suspect was bitten
by the dog, but the man managed to escape back to his home where he was later arrested. “Rain” did not return. At 2pm on the following day, July 23, “Rain” was discovered dead in the woods. "Rain" was later flown to the
University of PEI Veterinary College for an autopsy. At this time, no charges have been laid. The matter is still under investigation.
Sgt. Maurice Comeau 506-387-2222
MONCTON (CP) — A preliminary autopsy has revealed that a New Brunswick police dog died from strangulation over the weekend
while out hunting for a man. The German shepherd, Rain, accompanied his handler to a call Saturday afternoon in Baltimore
N.B. Police were told a man was threatening to kill himself with a rifle somewhere on his large, wooded property. Sgt. Maurice Comeau said K9 Rain was on the hunt for the man, trying to sniff him out of the woods but then he got
loose. It was while on the prowl without his handler, leash trailing behind him, that Rain ran into trouble. "The dog got away,"
Comeau said. "The dog found this guy in the woods and there was a skirmish between him and the dog. The dog did bite him, and the guy managed to escape." Police say the suspect was found later Saturday afternoon in one of the several buildings on the property with a dog bite. He told police he didn't harm the dog, and no gunshots were heard.
submitted by Jim Cortina & Paul Green
In Loving Memory of
Handler: Officer Bob Suarez
February 25, 2006
Clinton Police Department
125 W. Broad St.
Clinton, TN 37716
(865) 457-3112 email
It is with a very heavy heart that I just learned of the passing of K-9 Recon at 09:00 hrs this morning. Recon was handled
by officer Bob Suarez of the Clinton Tn. P.D.,in Region 8. For those of you that may have met Bob & Recon,
they were one team that you would never forget. Recon was a black, curly haired, Belgium Lackenois, who most
of us referred to as - jokingly - the "goat dog". Bob and Recon were one of most consistently solid narcotic
detection teams I have had the privilege of scoring. Recon was also dual purpose trained in Cadaver work,
another area in which they both excelled in year after year. Recon had excellent results on the streets as well.
If you were lucky enough to have spent some time with Bob and Recon, then you saw just an amazing bond between
handler and dog. Recon will be remembered for many, many, years. He touched the liver's of so many people.
" Recon, rest in peace my friend."
submitted by Dusty Simon & Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
website - http://www.clintontn.net/Police/index.htm
Clinton Police Department cadaver dog, Recon, who with his handler came to the Department three years ago, has died. Recon, an 11-year-old Belgian Lakinois, died Feb. 25, after battling a debilitating illness. Detective Bob Suarez
brought Recon with him when he joined the Clinton Police Department in March 2003. In 2004, Recon became the first dog nationally certified through U.S. Police Canine Association as a cadaver dog. He also received first place in 2004 in the
cadaver category during USPCA national competition in Bay St. Louis, MS. In 2005, Recon was the first dog to
certify as a cadaver dog through the International Forensic Research Institute. Being a cadaver dog means he's
trained to search for bodies. "Recon was a tremendous asset to our department," said Police Chief Rick Scarbrough. "He was known throughout the area as a great public relations dog, but he was also respected in the law enforcement
community. The 'old man,' as Suarez referred to him, always came through." I sure you hear all the time about how special each and every one of our K9 partners are. Of course Recon was no exception. He was big, fuzzy, no tail, strange haired dog, that no would believed to be a police service dog. I’ve trained more than a hundred police dogs
and taught in dozens of seminars. Attended several national police dog trials I’ve not seen nor heard of a dog like mine. It may sound like bragging but it is not. I would like you to know just some of his deeds.
The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Recon
Monday at 1 p.m. at the Clinton Community Center. Leean Tupper/Staff
Recon, Clinton Police Department canine officer, takes a break after searching for a murder suspect in Clinton in 2005. "Members of our community have come forward wanting to donate funds to replace Recon," Scarbrough said.
"We appreciate their response and support." Anyone wishing to donate funds should
contact Scarbrough at 457-3112 or at the memorial service.
|1st police service dog in Tennessee to hold 4 different certifications
[ patrol, drug detection, cadavers detection, and tracking ]
1st police service dog in the US to nationally certify in both drug and cadaver detection
[ USPCA RULES ]
1st police service dog to certify under the International Forensic Research Institute in both Drug and Cadaver detection . Needless to say Recon has several deployments in drugs, cadaver, and patrol in his 7 years of his career.
In Loving Memory of
Handler: Officer Karen Kurkie
November 6, 2006
Waterbury Police Department
255 East Main Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
(203) 574-6911 email
I regretfully inform you that on Monday November 6th, 2006 I had to put to sleep my partner, K9 Reeky. Reeky and I worked for the Waterbury Police Department (CT). Reeky was a dual purpose K9 that worked the streets for 5 years with me. He was retired in December 2004. In his retirement he enjoyed swimming and lots
of walks with me. I will miss him tremendously. Thank you
In Loving Memory of
Handler: Sgt. Anthony Sirianni
September 12, 2006
North Port Police Department
Traffic / Neighborhood Stabilization Unit
North Port Police Department
4980 City Hall Blvd.
North Port, Florida 34286
941-429-7378 office 941-429-7300 dispatch 941-628-1206 cell 941-429-7495 fax
Decorated K-9 Racco dies 9/27/06 Florida
North Port Police Department to hold memorial service Friday
Synopsis: Memorial service planned for Friday to honor Racco,
a North Port Police K-9 who passed away on Sept. 12.
NORTH PORT -- He was more than a dog to North Port Police Sgt. Tony Sirianni. He was his partner and a fellow
police officer to whom Sirianni said he owes his life.
North Port Police K-9 Racco passed away on Sept. 12. Sirianni said he fed Racco lunch at 11 a.m. At 3 p.m.,
Racco fell asleep and never woke up. Racco was 14 years old. A memorial service will be held for Racco in
front of the North Port Police Department at 9 a.m. Friday. Sirianni said that, in the beginning of his K-9
career in February, 1997, he and Racco, a Dutch Shepherd, responded to a call about a man with a weapon
who broke into a home. Sirianni said Racco started a track. However, the armed man circled and was behind Sirianni,
ready to attack him. "Racco jumped back and to the right," Sirianni said. "Trying to control Racco, I ordered the
person to come out." The man gave himself up. "He (Racco) hadmy back on that day," Sirianni said, after
learning of the man's intentions. Sirianni said if it were not for Racco, he would not be here today. Racco
would go on to save the lives of many people during his four and a half years on the job. Sirianni said Racco
helped find an autistic 4-year-old child after he was discovered missing for two hours in a cold rain.
"He (the child) was minutes from death," Sirianni said. Racco also saved two suicidal people, who tried
to overdose on drugs. What Sirianni remembers the most about Racco is he never left his side. "Most dogs like
to run around and check things out," Sirianni said. As he said this, his other K-9 dog, Ares, halted the interview
as Sirianni had to chase him. Ares was running along Sirianni's fence.
"Racco never left my side. He was a true partner," he said. Racco completed almost 600 calls during his career,
including apprehending 59 people, biting only eight. Sirianni recalled some of Racco's most notable collars. "About
halfway through his career, Racco and I responded to a call where a woman said her ex-husband was at her house,
trying to break in, threatening to kill her," Sirianni said. "The woman had a restraining order against him. We arrived
and the man ran around the back of the house. Racco raced to the back of the house. He found the man hiding in
thick palmetto, and dragged him out of it by his leg." Sirianni also recalled Racco's last apprehension. Racco
caught three burglars as they were coming out of the back windows of the Moose Lodge. Racco retired from the
job in December, 2001. "I can only hope to be the 'man' that Racco was," Sirianni said. When asked what he meant
by this, Sirianni's voice started to break, saying it was hard to explain. "I don't consider him a dog. He is a
police officer, working side-by-side with me," he said. "No matter what I asked of him, he was happy to do it.
He would have died for me," Sirianni
said. "How many men do you know that have that kind of fortitude?"
Finding it harder to speak, Sirianni said that he can only hope that he could measure up to Racco.
2009-Sgt. Sirianni is presently head of the K9 Unit. submitted by Jim Cortina &
Sgt. Anthony Sirianni
In Loving Memory of
Sgt. Bob Dudley
1999 - 2006
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office
1250 North Eglin Parkway
Shalimar, FL 32579
submitted by Dusty Simon
In Loving Memory
June 1, 2006
Augustus Kansas Department of Safety
In 1998, a second
was placed in
funds from the
Drug Task Force
from T.A.S.K. in
Texas. Sgt. Brit
selected as the
in 2000 and Sgt.
was teamed with
was in service
for 5 years
retired in 2003.
away on June 1,
cancer. Once the
began a drive to
donations to pay
to the fund and
within two short
months we had
raised enough to
passed away on
1, 2006 at the
age of 10.
years on the
of the Augusta
of the liver
that man can
have in this
the one that
him, the one
In Loving Memory
May 29, 2006
201 N. Main,
more than a pet
when his dog
Rocky died on
Rocky was a
partner and a
part of the
retired from the
unit for several
But in the
recent past, the
Even so, the
ever loyal and
drive and gusto
to chase a
In his younger
years, Rocky was
That's why Greenhaw
the dog so much:
Rocky was great
on the police
beat and he
and a playful
he died Memorial
said. "He was
partner and he
care of me
several years. I
lost a good
friend. Once you
become a K-9
partner, the dog
will do anything
for you to protect you. And
he never griped
at how fast I
drove or what
radio station I
only downfall of a K-9 partner is
that your car
smells like a
In his prime,
categorized as a
weighed about 50
canine was born
in Holland and
later trained in
In Loving Memory of
June 10, 2006
Handler: Cpl. Derek Loftis
401 S Main St
Anderson, South Carolina 29624
A former member of the Anderson Police
Department died Saturday.
Ringo, an 11-year-old Belgium Malinois, began
his career as a K9 officer with the Police
Department in 1997. He died Saturday
and heart problems because of his age, according
to Linda Dudley, spokeswoman for the Police
was one of the first police
dogs put into service at the Anderson Police
Department. He was the last one still alive of
first group of dogs, said Cpl. Derek Loftis,
Anderson Police Department. Ringo had lived and
worked with Cpl. Loftis for several years. "He
was at home when I was at home and at work when
I was at work," Cpl. Loftis said. Ringo was
trained in drug
detection, tracking, article
searches, area searches and criminal
apprehension, as well as handler protection. He
was responsible for making hundreds of cases
related to drug and firearm arrests, money
seizures, locating criminals and finding missing persons. "Just his presence ... discouraged
people from doing stuff," Cpl. Loftis said. Ringo
retired in 2004 due to his age and health
problems. In 2004, the department purchased Nemo,
a Dutch Shepherd. He also lives with Cpl. Loftis.Ringo continued to do drug detection during his
retirement, just not on an everyday basis, Ms.
Dudley said. He was put into the field if Nemo
wasn’t available. The department also has a bomb
detection dog. Cpl. Loftis said Ringo had a
love for police work. "He was very loyal, very
hardworking," he said. "He loved to go to work.
When I did have to retire him ... you could tell
he was upset because he was not going to work,
and he had to stay home." Ringo will be
remembered as a tough, hard-working dog who
loved to go to work and protect the citizens of
Anderson, Ms. Dudley said. Cpl. Loftis
has been tough the past couple of days without
Ringo by his side. "He’s not just a dog," Cpl.
"I probably spend more time with my
dog than with my family because he’s always with
You have the correct Ringo. I worked
him for almost 5 yrs and had to give him
up in 2002 when I was reassigned
narcotics. He then went to a handler
that quit the dept about a year after
and then Cpl Loftis picked up Ringo, and
worked him until his retirement. It
broke my heart to give him up. I picked
up the bomb dog in 2003 when
I got out
of the narcotics ( I missed being a dog
handler). I had to retire him in Apr
07, but he's still hanging on, being fat
and lazy. Thank You for what you do, I
think it is great!
Police Dept 401
S. Main St
In Loving Memory of
January 13, 2006
Sgt. Narcotics Investigator Danny Dawson
Judicial District Attorney's Narcotics Div.
a Belgian Malinois, past away of natural causes on Friday, January 13,
2006. Born in February 1993, Rex died at the
age of 13 years.
Rex began working in late 1994 an approximate 12 years of service in narcotics.
Danny Dawson was partnered with Rex for over 6 years. Rex
and Danny began their work together with Tri-County Narcotics in South
Texas. The pair transferred to the San Antonio area in April 2004.
At the time of his death, Rex was an
employee of the 81st. Judicial District
Attorney's Narcotics Division and amazingly was willing and ready to go
up until the day before his passing.
had his nose in close to $10,000,000.0 0 in Currency Seizures, over 15,000
Lbs. of Marijuana Seizures, and over
3,000 Lbs. of Cocaine, Methamphetamine,
and Heroin in his 12-year career. Rex
was not just a working dog, but also
a best friend and cherished member
of the family. Rex went on family vacations, hunting trips with fellow Officers
participated in almost all family activities. Thank you for helping
give Rex the honor he deserves. Rex
is a true Hero, an extraordinary contributor to the war on drugs. Now, he
will continue to work the HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN!!
by D. Dawson
lbs. Marijuana (above)
new partner, K9 Joycee below (2007)
My dog is more
than my partner you see
Because he is a very good friend
He's the nose I don't have
The eyes I have not
He's one of the best partners
most cops ain't got.
Day by day we do what we do best
His four paws never seem to rest
He always does whatever I ask
Seeming to enjoy every task
I know one day his work will be
But for now we can only have fun
For my dog is more than a partner
My dog is my best friend
and he always will be.
er Brett Cyr -
Written By: K-9 Officer Brett Cyr
- Texas City Police Dept.e
Loving Memory of
who was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement
Medal, is remembered in a picture. The
portrait photograph is small box containing his
ashes and his medal. "He was a nasty little
bastard," Massey said, reflecting on the surprise felt by the unit when the tough dog got sick in Iraq
and wasted away from 78 pounds to 38 pounds before
being euthanized last June.Masto
died during a flight back to Pendleton after a
medical evaluation at Lackland.
Robby, also was in
Iraq when he became ill and passed away.
More information on the military working dog K-9
adoption program is available by contacting Lackland
Air Force Base.
Role of Marine K-9s play increasing role in Iraq
MARK WALKER - Staff Writer
Role of Marine K-9s play increasing role in Iraq
Marine Pfc. Brandon Sergeant, left, holds back
a dog named Tino as a suspect exits a vehicle
during training for car-bomb
detection on Camp
Pendleton last week. Bruno plays with a ball in
the K-9 training area on Camp Pendleton on
Tuesday.Bruno's handler, Sgt. Adam Cann, was
killed last month in Ramadi. Bruno took some
shrapnel in the explosion that
handler, and the area around his wound was
JAMIE SCOTT LYTLE Staff Photographer Order a
copy of this photo Visit our Photo Gallery
PENDLETON ---- Cpl. Francisco Luyando and his
dog Ffax arrived in Iraq last year with orders
to seek out and
stop suicide and vehicle bombers
from entering Camp Blue Diamond in the city of Ramadi. During one search at the
formerly owned by Saddam Hussein's half brother,
the pair detected a truck packed with death.
"Five vehicles pulled into the search lane," Luyando recalled last week at the Camp Pendleton
K-9 Kennel. "They were supposed to be delivering
Thanksgiving dinner to the base." The dog, a
Belgian Malinois, signaled to Luyando that it
had detected explosives, and a search uncovered
40 pounds of powerful C-4 explosive and several
smaller bombs packed throughout the rig. "We
were just doing our job," Luyando said about
that day in November when Ffax,
whose name pronounced as Fax is derived from his
breeding and a tattoo on his ear,discovered the
bombs. Doing their job and then some, according
to Staff Sgt. Greg Massey, the man who has
overseen the Camp Pendleton K-9 corps as kennel
master for the last three years. "They
saved a lot of lives that day,"
said Massey, who
in April will deploy to Fallujah as part of the
contingent of 25,000 Camp Pendleton and
Air Station Marines and sailors now assuming
lead combat responsibility throughout western
Since the March 2003 U.S. invasion, the
role dogs play has increased dramatically, with
dozens of teams from Pendleton assigned to
detect explosives worn by suicide bombers, to
find roadside bombs and sniff out explosives
hidden in houses and buildings.
Pendleton has sent more than three dozen dog
teams to Iraq, with more slated to go. Two teams
are at work in Afghanistan, and
more are in line for Middle East deployment.
"We're due to get 10 more
dogs in here in the
next few months," Massey said of the animals who
begin their service careers through a
and induction program at Lackland Air Force Base
in San Antonio. "We'll get them trained as soon
as we can and get them where they can do the
most good." A blunt-talking animal lover,
Massey, who keeps a
cat named Thor at home and
is razzed by his K-9 handlers accordingly, said
the job is about prevention. "I have a great
group of Marines who are dedicated to going over
there and saving people's lives," he said. "We've had teams find roadside bombs in cars and
discover explosives in house searches."At Lackland, the number of dogs trained in
explosives detection has almost doubled since
9/11 to about 300 a year. The animals complete
initial training in basic obedience before being
shipped to Marine, Air Force, Army and
bases for more specialized training. From their
initial training to their upkeep throughout
their service life, the investment in each dog
ranges from $50,000 to $100,000 for an animal
that will have a typical service life of six to
10 years. It's a cost well-worth the
dollars spent, Massey said. "If a dog finds a
bomb, he's priceless," he said.
At the kennel
The three rows of kennels at Camp Pendleton
can house up to 48 dogs. Most used by the
Security Battalion Military Police, Military
Working Dog Section are German shepherds. A
handful of Belgian Malinois ---- a European
breed similar to German
shepherds ---- complete
the unit's makeup. One recent morning, Massey
walked from cage to cage greeting those dogs who
hadn't already left with their handlers for the
day's training regimen. First to get a visit
was Star, an aging dog set for adoption. Dogs
who make it through their service years and can
no longer work often wind up in the homes
their handlers or in those of former handlers
after being certified as safe to keep. Next to
be greeted was Bruno, a 5-year-old German
shepherd back on Pendleton after his handler,
Sgt. Adam Cann, died in a suicide bombing attack while guarding an Iraqi police recruitment
center in Ramadi on Jan. 5. Cann's death was
the first among dog handlers in Iraq, and the
first recorded in those ranks since the Vietnam
War, according to Massey. "Adam was a
Massey said. "He always wanted to be
in the hot spot." Bruno suffered shrapnel
wounds in the attack, as did two other
and their dogs. It was Cann and Bruno's second
deployment to Iraq, and the loss of the sergeant
throughout the ranks of the dog
handlers. Massey and nine Pendleton K-9
handlers were among dozens who attended
burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan.
18. At Pendleton, a large picture of the pair
with Bruno raised
on his hind legs in attack
mode is the only portrait in the building.
After Massey greeted Bruno, who is now working
with a new handler and will likely return to
Iraq in a few months, next up was Orlando. He's
the unit's newest canine and will spend the next
four to six months becoming fully trained. And
then came Kevin, a Belgian Malinois who also
suffered wounds in the attack that killed Cann.
Kevin is special. He likes to bite. He liked to
bite his handlers long before
he was wounded. He
has unnecessarily bitten five people in his
career, all while wagging his tail. "Kevin is
Massey said, then ominously added that
even though everyone likes Kevin and wants him
to succeed, if he continues to bite he may be
euthanized by injection. "Our biggest concern is
that if Kevin bites again, Kevin will get the
'pink needle.' "
Working alongside Massey is Sgt. Vincent Amato,
the unit's chief trainer.Like all the handlers, Amato first went through
military police training and then joined the K-9
corps either by application
A serious-minded Marine who has plans to become
a private contractor in Iraq when he
service later this year, Amato is dedicated to
one thing: "We're trying to make a better
product," he said. "Our job is all about
training the Marines and the dogs for the
situations they are likely to encounter in
Iraq." Lackland is where the dogs did their
boot camp, Amato said. Pendleton is where they
learn their real job,
he said. During one
training exercise, Tino and a rookie handler,
Pfc. Brandon Sergeant, were responsible for
detecting explosives in a car.
The dog didn't react immediately to Sergeant's
commands to sniff the car,
completed the mission when he sat next to the
spot where the explosives were placed. Sitting
the signal Tino is trained to give when he
has found something suspicious. Amato wasn't
entirely pleased, nor entirely dissatisfied with
the exercise. "The hardest job is making the
handler and dog act as a single unit,"
said. "They might now show the handler exactly
what we want each time, but every dog can have
day and that can be the difference in
whether someone lives or dies."
The K-9 corps is not an exclusive boys club when
it comes to the dogs or their handlers. Lance
Cpl. Megan Leavey
and her 4-year-old German
shepherd Rex will return to Iraq in April along
with Massey in what will be the team's
deployment. She is one of five female Marines
from Pendleton working as K-9 handlers, some of
whom work with female dogs. Leavey and Rex
worked roadside control points in Al Asad and
Fallujah and performed sweeps of buildings
suspected of containing explosives. "We are the
first line of defense because of the dog's sense
of smell," said Leavey, adding her only
frustration is not being able to participate in
because of the military's ban on placing
women in direct combat. "It's really cool what
they can do."
When she and Rex first met, their initial days
together were all about Leavey entering his cage
each day and taking him outside to play. Rex was
not allowed to interact with anyone else. After
Rex learned that Leavey was his handler, the
pair moved on to more complex training to sniff
out explosives and other armament. Once in
Rex did uncover a couple of bullet
magazines and residual odor from explosives.
While in Iraq, dogs such as Rex don't go
unprotected. Each is assigned a bulletproof
vest, booties for walking on glass and cold
packs to beat the Iraqi heat. Because of the
heat, all-black dogs are assigned night patrol
only. Other dogs are shaven
to reduce their
susceptibility to heat exhaustion.
While the dogs are trained to find the weapons
that can kill human beings, the military
maintains a cadre of
veterinarians trained to
save the lives of injured dogs. Last fall, the
first-ever veterinary surgeon was
Baghdad to treat the most severely injured.
Before his arrival, dogs were shipped to Germany or the U.S. for critical care with the animals
second in line for transport after wounded
When Cann was killed, Bruno and the two
other injured dogs, Kevin and Flapeur, were
flown to Baghdad for
eventually making their way back to Camp
Pendleton. Of the two injured handlers,
remains in Iraq and the other is on light duty
at Pendleton. Not all the dogs make it back,
and some don't ever make it to the Middle East.
Inside the kennel office complex is a memorial
to three of
its dogs lost since the start of
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir.