The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners
I need your help to inform me of such losses.
May 9, 2007
Handler: Sgt. Darrell Wood
Salem Police Department
555 Liberty St SE - Room 130
Salem, OR 97301 - 503-588-6123
Police dog sent on 800 cases in 7-year career dies in retirement -
Ivon was called out of retirement twice for temporary duty
Ivon served the Salem community as a police dog for many years, twice coming out of retirement to fill the need for skilled K-9s on the police force. During a nearly seven-year career in law enforcement, this police officer was sent out to chase more than 800 suspects and was pulled out of retirement -- twice -- before settling down. Salem Police dog Ivon died May 9. The black German shepherd was 13 years old. Salem Police Sgt. Darrell Wood remembers his four-legged partner as a calm, majestic animal who kept his temper easily and loved to work. "Since he was almost totally black, he could quite imposing at night, just the sight of him," Wood said. Ivon retired most recently in 2004, after being pulled back onto patrol on two separate, temporary stints. Wood remembered the last major capture Ivon made before he retired for good. During a SWAT sting in Stayton, a man with a rifle had barricaded himself in a dark sub-basement of a home. SWAT teams had gassed the man twice and shot him with two baton rounds, but he still hadn't moved, Wood said. So Ivon was sent in. "My dog was an old pro at it," Wood said. "And he never saw (Ivon) coming, and Ivon was able to drag him away from his gun, still alive. None of the police officers were hurt."Wood said he's proud that Ivon helped keep other police officers safe during his career. Wood recalled Ivon's ability to locate suspects even in tough spots. Wood and Ivon were responding to a burglary of a mechanic's shop on Portland Road NE. Wood and another officer arrived and heard voices inside. They also could see where the burglars broke in. Suddenly, the doors sprang open, and two men ran out. Ivon immediately detained one man, and the other suspect climbed over a car and escaped over a chain-link fence. Other officers surround the area. Ivon scrambled into a thick, thorny briar patch. "All of the sudden, I hear this voice say, 'Good dog. Good dog,' and then I hear a scream, clear as anything," Wood said. After Ivon retired, Wood began working with Gino, his current police dog. Wood said it hurt at first to leave Ivon, who would leap up at the sight of Wood in uniform. "He never realized he was 12 years old," Wood said. "He was always energetic. And seeing us go, he was seeing less of me, until my family stepped in." Ivon became attached to Wood's wife, Dianne, and son, Devin, now 14. Vacations to Lincoln City were among Ivon's favorite activities. The family planned a private ceremony with Ivon's
remains. After Ivon retired for good, Wood decided to keep him as a family dog because of the trust established between them. "No way I would give him up. He saved my hide a number of times," Wood said.
submitted by Jim Cortina
Loving Memory of
friend, a partner and a member of the family. They played together, and
they worked together. They bonded from
the beginning. And the love they
shared was easy to see.Danny Wood and his canine partner Irox, both deputies
with the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, had only five short years together,
but they were quality years. That partnership came to an end last
week with the death of Irox who died Thursday of lymphoma (cancer). Danny
only one week to say goodbye. After Wood found a lump under Irox's
chin, he was taken to a 24-hour veterinarian hospital in Blue Ash.
undergoing tests, Irox was diagnosed with lymphoma, which is incurable
in dogs. "We wanted to do everything
we could to save him," said Clinton
County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. "They gave me two choices.
they could give him radiation treatments over the next 12 months. The radiation
treatments would make him
sick and weak each time he got one." With
the treatments, they'd give Irox 12 months to live. "She (vet) didn't know
if he would survive to complete his treatments," Wood said. Neither Wood
nor Fizer wanted Irox
to suffer. "They said they could give him a shot
and some medication to make him comfortable, then he would probably have
a couple of weeks," Fizer said. "They said he would not be in any pain
and the medication would help him breathe. They
said he would get to the
place where he couldn't breathe again. When that happens, then we would
have to put him to sleep."
Danny and the sheriff together made the
decision to make Irox comfortable. "As the sheriff, I didn't want him suffering
and I didn't want Danny to have to go through that for 12 months of not
knowing what day." Wood said it was a decision
that he and the sheriff
made together. "Like the vet said, he may not have survived those treatments.
He would have been
suffering through the treatments. I didn't want to put
him (Irox) through suffering in any way."
Wood and Irox were on duty
together the day he died. They left home that morning to work the day shift.
they worked, trained and played together. But Wood did not expect
to lose his partner that day. "We were out playing ball
and about a half
hour later his breathing became very labored. The sheriff asked me where
I wanted to have him taken
. I said to Jill Thompson. She has such a love
for animals, I wouldn't want anybody else to do it." Thompson is
veterinarian and owner of the Country View Pet Hospital on state Route
73 West. "I took him in and she felt his lymph
nodes," Wood said.
"They were so swollen on both sides. His esophagus was more or less being
crushed. She said it was
time. That's probably the hardest thing that I've
had to do in law enforcement, but I didn't want him
suffocating in the
middle of the night." Danny said he was holding Irox in his arms when he
died. "I'm the last thing he
smelled and felt. That was a little comforting
to me. But it was hard. I spent more time with him every day than I did
my wife and kids. He worked with me every day, plus he'd go home with
me." Fizer said Irox loved to
work. "That's what he liked to do." Irox
had an almost unbelievable track record during his five years
a sheriff's deputy. He had countless successful tracks and apprehensions
as well as numerous
positive drug detections. His track record was 96 percent.
"This is rare for canines," said Fizer. "They've always told me
canines catch 50 percent of the people they track, that's a good dog. I
think most law enforcement officers in
the county knew that too." Fizer said Irox has tracked "bad guys" for the Warren County Sheriff's
Police Department and Sabina Police Department - for
all law enforcement in the county. "He went out and did his job."
Wood said Irox put hundreds of people in jail. "I lost a great partner.
He was my friend. That was rough. It's hard on
my little boys. My 2-year-old
keeps going out to the kennel and looking for Irox. My wife (Jennifer)
is taking it hard,
too. I know they say never make them your pet, but it's
hard. They're part of your family." Danny and Jennifer's
sons are Jarrod,
5, and Caleb, 2. Irox, a full-blooded Czechoslovakia shepherd, loved to
work and was always ready
to go with Wood. "He'd just sit in there (his
kennel) and spin and spin until I picked him up. He'd jump up and down." Wood made the decision to have Irox cremated. "If I move, I want him to
go with me," he said. "Mike Storer of Pet
Dignity has been terrific," Fizer
said. "He's taken care of everything. He, along with the cemetery people
who did the
cremation, will not take a dime for anything. We owe them a
lot of gratitude." Through the years, the sheriff's office
eight canines. "I've been here almost 25 years and there's none that would
compare (to Irox). "I told Danny,
we'd give him some time, but just as
long as I'm sheriff, we'll always have canine teams. They are very, very
He will have 100 percent input to a new canine." Fizer
said it worked well having two canines. "They were rotating shifts
availability of a canine, whether it's the sheriff's office or the local
police department, we'd have
a canine available most of the time." Irox was shipped from Czechoslovakia to a trainer, Dave Johnson, a member
of the Southern Ohio Police Canine in Brown County. "He's one of the best
(trainers) and we will consult
with him when we get another canine," Fizer
said. Johnson trained Irox for a week, then Wood participated in the training.
Irox was trained in narcotic detection, patrol, tracking, handler protection
and was proficient in detection of marijuana,
cocaine, heroin and ethamphetamine.
After eight weeks of training, the handler and dog completed the Ohio Peace
Officer Training Commission Canine Certification. "I'd just like to thank
everybody that's been so supportive,"
Wood said. "Not just this department,
but other departments. The support's just been overwhelming," he said.