RICHLAND HILLS -- A popular retired police dog who received donations of more than $10,000 to cover expenses for medical problems has been euthanized, police said Tuesday. Hiko, a 10-year-old Belgian Sheepdog, was put down on Monday on the recommendation of the Richland Hills Police Department veterinary staff. For two years, Hiko had been suffering from a spinal cord infection and vertebrae problems. In 2007, about 200 residents donated more than $10,000 to save his life from the infection after Richland Hills’ funds for his care had been depleted. The money sent from donors around the North Texas region covered his treatments and surgery.
Last year, the police department sent out personalized thank-you cards, signed with a paw print of Hiko. Hiko had joined the department in 2005 as a tracker and a drug detection dog. He teamed with officer Jason Baxter, and the pair was inseparable, on and off duty. "He depends on me as I depend on him," Baxter said in early 2006. Hiko weighed 110 pounds when he worked with Baxter and was somewhat unusual in that he was multi-talented. "Generally, he’s laid-back and calm," Baxter said. "But he's something else when he’s working." DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763
In Loving Memory of
K9 Deputy HONDO
Handler: Lt. Steve Birdsong
Flagler County Sheriff's Office
1001 Justice Lane
PH: 386 437-4116
Bunnell, FL 32110
Lt. Steve Birdsong with his partner ‘Hondo’ in a file photo. The K-9 Unit of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office is mounting a fund-raising campaign to replace a K-9 member who recently passed away after developing unexpected health problems. K-9 Hondo was partnered with Lt. Steve Birdsong when the five-year-old Belgian Malinois had to be put down May 1, 2009. The unexpected death has left the unit short and no funds had been budgeted for a replacement. The unit has partnered with the Palm Coast Car Wash at 13 Old Kings Road North to host a car wash from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 26. A rain date of Friday, July 3 has been scheduled. "The community has been very supportive of this unit and we are hoping to see that support continue," said Lt. Birdsong. Sheriff Donald W. Fleming said the agency felt the loss of Hondo. "It was a tremendous loss to our agency and to Lt. Birdsong," he said. More information on the fund raiser may be obtained by contacting Major Steve Clair, supervisor of the K-9 Unit, at (386) 437-4116.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s office is mourning the death of K-9 Deputy Hondo. Flagler County Sheriff Donald W. Fleming says Deputy Hondo became a partner to Lt. Steve Birdsong in September of 2005 and was dual certified in narcotics detection and patrol. Hondo worked road patrol for three and a half years. Fleming says the five-year Belgian Malinois was put down May 1 after developing unexpected health problems. Deputy Hondo will be laid to rest in the K-9 Memorial Park at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Operations Center. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
May 14, 2009
Deputy John Glassburner
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
4000 Justice Way
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Farewell to Huka, canine officer
Dep. John Glassburner walks Huka through the halls of ThunderRidge one last time.
Glassburner and Huka were honored by students May 11.
Huka, pronounced like hookah, first roamed the halls of ThunderRidge high in 2002, looking for drugs. From there, he tried to find them in every high school in Douglas County, but found none. Huka did find a lost man suffering with Alzheimer’s for the Littleton Police Department. He helped find 100 pounds of marijuana in one hit. He’s assisted state, federal and local law enforcement in arrests and drug cases. Huka was suddenly retired in January from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office when a football sized mass was found in his chest.
Tests revealed the mass was cancer, and Huka was a bad candidate for surgery. His date with the euthanasia needle was set for May 9, but he got a reprieve. On May 11, the sheriff’s department honored K9 officer Huka and his second handler, Dep. John Glassburner, at ThunderRidge.
Dr. David Swieckowski, of Franktown Animal Clinic, was present should Huka start feeling ill. Huka was content with a tennis ball clamped in his jaws the entire afternoon.
Glassburner was told he needed to go to an administrative meeting. Instead, Huka, his first handler Tom Barrella, and a swarm of sheriff’s deputies and ThunderRidge students were on hand to honor Huka and his partner. “Fooled me,” Glassburner said in his quiet way. “It’s amazing what a dog can do,” Glassburner said. “What a good tool they are.” Students Dylan Nieto and Chris Stephens led the presentation. The freshman boys have also started working on a nonprofit organization to raise money for medical care for retired canines. Nieto has known Glassburner and Huka for four years.
Once the department retires the dogs, no funds are available for medical care. That means the minute the department retired Huka, right after the discovery of the mass, no more money could go to veterinary bills. Stephens and Nieto have their friends selling rubber bracelets supporting canine officers.
K-9 Huka is a 9 year old Dutch Shepherd. Huka was born in the Nedetherlands on October 19, 1999. In 2001 Wal-Mart in Parker, Colorado donated the funds to purchase Huka from Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana. K-9 Huka is certified in patrol and narcotics in the State of Colorado and as well as the State of Utah. K-9 Huka was involved with several units within the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to include S.W.A.T., S.O.R.T., S.D.U. and S.M.D.T.F. just to name a few. K-9 Huka in his 6 year career has saved and protected numerous lives. Huka was also involved in numerous arrests to include the arrest of a serial killer. K-9 Huka also was responsible for getting numerous amounts of illegal drugs off the streets.
On January 8, 2009 Huka was diagnosed with a football size tumor in his chest. Test revealed that the tumor was cancer and that Huka was a bad candidate for surgery. K-9 Huka was medically retired that day and was given 2 months to live. On May 14, 2009 K-9 Huka loss his battle with cancer. Notified by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA,
Information sent by JGlassbu@dcsheriff.net